History - Snapshots of the Olympics

By: Bev Ross

The museum at Mangawhai is constantly working hard to find ways in which to keep the doors open every day – as I’m sure all museums do during this most strange time in history where we are living during a pandemic.

In our Special Exhibition room we have been displaying Toys Through the Ages.  The exhibit is due to come down at the end of April. It will be replaced with a new show, Snapshots of the Olympics, a New Zealand story.

The History Group associated with the Mangawhai Museum is doing the research and collecting items for the new display. It is an exciting project, which has found many local contacts associated with past Olympic Games.  

Roy King wins the 440 yards.
Roy King wins the 440 yards.

Heroes from those times will be highlighted, as will many sportsmen and women who shone for a time when they were able to perform. Their actions and achievements will be on view for all folk to recall and admire the wonderful memories that our past Olympians have given us. Their influence on our young folk is unmistakably positive.  

New Zealand has always been well represented in sport, as has been demonstrated over this past month with the America’s Cup. New Zealanders’ prowess as Olympians came through and upheld their standing  in the top class. We can certainly thank them for the uplift their actions have given our entire country.  

Rules regarding entry to compete in the Olympic and Commonwealth games have changed considerably over the years. A top Mangawhai athlete of the past, who was a professional runner, was an Australasian champion. His name was Roy King, a local who lived to be a centenarian. He held the top spot in short distance races, but unfortunately wasn’t allowed to compete in the Olympic Games because of the strict rules that insisted on amateurism prior to 1968.

Bev Ross, Mangawhai Museum


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