A guest post from my buddy and Write On! regular commentator, Colin Gray.
Colin’s letter below won Letter of the Day in today’s Herald Sun newspaper. The prize was a Waterman pen, not bad. The Herald-Sun editors butchered his letter a bit (must have needed a bit of extra room for Angry of Ascot Vale), so I’ve reproduced it in full.
As a kid brought up in a footy and cricket household I have spent many a day over my 40 plus years at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I have some of the most amazing and fantastic memories of sporting events held atthe MCG. I was there to see my beloved Bombers win four premierships, I saw Collingwood’s Twiggy Dunne barrel that wobbly old punt kick to draw the ’77 Grand Final with North Melbourne, I cheered for Warnie the day he got his hat trick and I chanted Lillee’s name as he terrorised thePoms in the Centenary Test.
I’ve attended Rugby Union, Soccer and I even saw Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones on stage at the MCG.
All of these were great moments and fill me with lifetime memories but one of the most memorable moments for me at the ‘G’ was the day I cheered marathon runner Kerryn McCann home in the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
I had never heard of Kerryn McCann before that day and marathon running was something I had never really taken an interest in but when Kerrynraced into the stadium along with Kenyan runner Hellen Cherono Koskei the roar from the 80,000 crowd was something I had never heard before.
Everyone stood to cheer Kerryn on and as she pulled away with 200m to go to win gold, my wife, two children and I were yelling at her “Go Aussie – Go Aussie”. When Kerryn did her victory lap draped in an Australian Flag with her young son I unashamedly had watery eyes and a lump in my throat in pride of the moment I had just witnessed with my family.
Here was a mum in her late 30’s who took on some of the world’s best distance runners and won. With courage and fighting spirit along with the crowd behind her she won gold for her country and provided me at least with one of the most inspirational and greatest sporting moments I have ever witnessed.
It is with this inspiration that I cheer Kerryn on again as she battles breast cancer.
Everything I know about Kerryn McCann stems from what I learnt that day at the MCG and from the TV and press interviews that followed. She is a fighter with a huge heart. She loves her country and she’s a great mum and family person. Kerryn is extremely positive and I’m sure she will front her latest and toughest race head on. I hope Kerryn can still hear my voice of support and the roar of the crowd as she takes on and wins her cancer fight.