And so it was...
The Rugby World Cup 2011.
Done, over, finished, completed, at an end but at a really good one. The boys in Black, namely New Zealand's prized All Blacks took away the golden William Webb Ellis trophy that has eluded the nation for the past 24 years. The country collectively held its breath, the clock ticked over and the partying started and did not stop until the early, or late hours the following morning.
I think this week the whole country is still recovering and the 'what-if's' are just not worth thinking about, so we won't. It will take a wee while to sink in, let alone for the players all and those people around the world who have devoted the best part of 3 years to making it happen.
After all and as someone said yesterday on the radio, "they don't engrave the scores on the Cup."
The competition was incredible. It was a battle, but a great one - full of intense rivalries, hard fought games, narrow wins, an empowering public, a welcoming nation and what's now been dubbed 'the best World Cup ever.'
There could not have been a better way to finish such a superb event here in New Zealand than with the win but not only was it about the rugby (and the fact that we won it) but also about the way Kiwi's embraced our overseas, visiting friends. It was a humbling sight to see - and it happened all around the country in even the smallest towns.
Our travelers who were here at the time (and some who are still lingering on as the vibe is only very slowly returning to normal) have all told us that the energy, the openness, the willingness to go that extra mile, the smiles, the support (for whatever colours one's wearing) has ensured they all walk away from our shores with a sense of New Zealand and its people. What more can you ask for...?
Well done Kiwi's and well done to all of you who made the loyal effort to come down to our shores to support your home teams. We have no doubt you enjoyed all aspects of your time here, hope you stay in touch and come back to our shores in 24 years time when we host it again (we're just putting it out there!)...
And now onto summer and all the La Nina goodness it brings. Apparently it's going to be another long, hot one like last year... Ahhhh, those are the words we like to hear. Come on down - the water's fine.
Ka Kite Ano.