So, I’m at my Christian Teachers work conference yesterday morning. There’s worship going on, there’s great musos, there’s a genuine buzz in the auditorium … and I’m following the end of the golf – the Masters at Augusta – on my iPhone!
Yep, there are just some things which transcend the normal day to day of work and life, and an Aussie doing something significant on the world stage is about as big as it gets.
There are a number of great Australian sporting moments that the average fan will be able to reel of.
What are yours?
The mighty Windies
For mine, there’s highs and lows. I remember as a kid being devastated by countless losses in cricket against the mighty West Indies.
As an adult, nothing was worse than Pat Rafter’s epic loss to Goran Ivanisevic in the 2001 Wimbledon Final in the greatest Wimbledon atmosphere e-ver.
On that particular night, my lounge was packed with 20+ people, all with self-portraits to get the great man over the line – a ploy which worked spectacularly in another enthralling semi-final win over Andre Agassi.
Losing the 5th set 9-7 was about as cruel as it gets for one of our most popular sportsmen ever.
And the highs
As for the highs, there have been even more – Bradman, Phar Lap, Australia qualifying for the 2006 soccer World Cup after the classic penalty shootout victory over Uruguay, which was only bettered by the come from nowhere 3-1 defeat on Japan in our opening match.
There was Cathy Freeman’s 400m gold medal, cricket domination, Shane Warne, anything Kieren Perkins ever did in the pool, the America’s Cup (remember that?!), leaving out countless others.
More still have come recently; Cadel Evans’ Tour de France victory, Sam Stosur’s demolition of Serena Williams in the US Open Final on September 11, Michael Clarke’s countless double centuries and his 329 not out.
And now this.
To give the win some personal context, I just had one of the best holidays of my life for two weeks in New Zealand.
Sidebar – NZ – why wasn’t I told?! I’ve seen a country or two in my time, and it is hands down the prettiest place I have ever seen in my life. Great people, awesome food, heaps to do, not as many sheep as you’d expect(!) and it’s a mere couple of hours away…
Anyhoo, in NZ, there was no wi-fi in the chateau (sorry, had to write it…!) we were staying in, so I was basically offline for 2 weeks. No email, Facebook, sporting news or otherwise.
And it was freaking awesome!
I’ve returned home with a renewed vigor to not immerse myself in the micro of sports; simply enjoy the Bombers form, lament Kobe’s snapped Achilles and enjoy Manchester United’s utter domination in a season where I have watched one solitary game … and of course we lost.
So when the Adam Scott story developed, with not a single Aussie winning the event in 77 years, the shades of history with Greg Norman’s disappointments looming ever large, it actually felt nice to not be missing it. Sure I wasn’t the greatest Christian in the world for a few short minutes, but I think He’ll let me off the hook.
It was a pure, jubilant moment. Let’s face it, it was just a golf tournament. But, yet again, sport has drawn a number of Australian people together in a shared joyful experience.
The buzz around my conference afterwards as news spread was fantastic. Watching the news tonight – it was the lead story of course – and seeing the responses from around the world, and witnessing the moment itself when Scott nailed a 15 foot putt to clinch the one stroke title, was phenomenal.
Yes it’s just sport, and I know more significant things are happening around the world, but so long as we don’t allow it to become an idol, these are the moments to savior.
When Scott won the Masters, when Warne bowled Gatting, Timmy Cahill went off his tree against Japan, Steve Waugh hit a 4 to get his 100 on the last ball of the day, Cash beat Lendl and the Donvale Christian College primary soccer team made the State Finals (in spite of their coach), memories are created that will never be forgotten.
What have been your greatest Australian or national sporting moments? I’m keen to read those which have made an impact on you…