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Celebrating Rio 2016

Mon, Aug. 22, 2016 11:30am — 1:30pm
Brazilian Embassy, Level 13, Maritime Tower, 10 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

On August 22nd the LANZBC, in partnership with the Embassy of Brazil and Beso Wines, celebrated, in real-time, the closing of Rio de Janeiro's "iconic" Olympic Games. As scenes of the closing ceremony played in the background, LANZBC members and friends of the Council and the Embassy remembered the highlights and successes of these historic Games, the first time ever in South America.

After a welcome from Brazilian charge d'affaires Roberto Medeiros, LANZBC President Matthew O'Meagher recalled some of the Games' biggest moments for New Zealand and Brazil, from Nikki Hamblin's sportsmanship to Neymar's shoot-out winner. Our Secretary Heather Kawan provided an overview of the Council's latest achievements, some of our upcoming events and the benefits of belonging to our organisation, including our exciting new member-to-member benefits.

Besides the opportunity to network, however, the highlight of this event - our second in Wellington this year - was the opportunity to hear from Trevor Taylor, a member of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Board. Trevor had travelled to Rio in a private capacity, and said the experience on the ground was far more positive than portrayed in the media. On the Brazilian side, ordinary citizens could not have been more helpful or hospitable, and an infrastructure legacy had been left in their city. For New Zealand, too, the games were special in two ways. Firstly, our athletes won more medals than any NZ Olympic Team in history; and secondly, the New Zealand team gave something back to their hosts by asking athletes who had finished their competition to run sports clinics in the Mangueira favela. Those clinics touched the lives of many local children -- the NZ women's soccer team even taught Brazilian girls how to play soccer -- and gave our athletes an insight into the power of sport to help the social outcomes of communities.

The LANZBC is grateful to Trevor for his moving address, and also wishes to thank the Brazilian Embassy for hosting this event and all our Wellington friends who attended.

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