You Gotta Spend Money to Make Medals

It seems completely unbelievable now, much like the fact Madonna was considered hot in the 1980s, given their success in more recent times, but in 1976 Australia won only four medals at the Olympics in Montreal. Exactly none of them were gold, leaving Australia languishing in thirty-second position on the medal table. New Zealand (NZ), largely by virtue of its two gold medals (thank you John Walker and men’s hockey team) finished in eighteenth position. I only entered into the world a week after the closing ceremony and thus have no direct recollection of it, but I imagine the barely concealed glee and smug sanctimony at finishing ahead of our trans-Tasman cousins must have been more prevalent than side burns, Stubbies and Ford Cortinas combined in NZ at the time.