Performance matters

New Zealand’s Olympic team was too big and athletes shouldn’t be using the games for experience, Associate Professor David Gerrard, a former selector, says.

Prof Gerrard, who attended his eighth Olympics in Beijing working with the Fina drug-testing commission, said New Zealand should “stick to its knitting” when targeting medals…

“We cannot afford to be all things to all people. We have to stick to our knitting and go with those sports which we have been good at. That means the rowing, the cycling, canoeing . . . The country had to accept it was never going to be good at everything…

“The team was too big. Performance is what it’s about, not just making up the numbers…

“This is the Olympic Games. This is where you have to perform at your absolute best.”

Performing at your absolute best in the ultimate sporting competition because achievement rather than participation is what matters – now there’s a radical thought.

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