My best job ever
I’m a mature age Olympian.
While I began my bid for gold much later in life, my competitive spirit, ruthless determination and single-minded focus enabled me to attend one Winter Olympics, two Summer Olympics, two Paralympics and one Commonwealth Games.
As with all elite athletes, though, the rigorous training, constant traveling, early mornings, all that adrenalin, the shouting, cheering and back-to-back Games appearances have taken their toll on my body, so after six years of intense Olympic attendance, I reluctantly announced my retirement. I’ve since been an armchair spectator, watching subsequent Olympics from the comfort of my own lounge.
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Some mornings I wake up in a Japanese mood.
I inexplicably find myself thinking and texting in Japanese, which has been known to confuse a recipient or two.
On these days I crave soba noodles, sushi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and drink green tea.
Then, on other mornings I may wake up in a Greek mood.
“If my son has the opportunity to interact with young people from other cultures, he’ll learn they’re just the same as him,” said the mother.
As a result, that young boy is growing up with an open mind and acceptance of other people, so by the time he’s an adult he won’t see the sense of warfare against people he considers friends, despite their colour, race or religion.
“It’s one way of helping to end wars in future,” she said.
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.