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Kiwis numerology hits 29028

other Updated: Sep 30, 2010 00:01 IST
Tomojit Basu

The beekeeper from New Zealand and the porter from India had little in common when they set out to scale the timorous Mt. Everest close to sixty years ago.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, by virtue of sheer grit, managed to leave a mark beyond the permafrost with their awe-inspiring conquest of the mountain on May 29, 1953.

Sir Ed clearly still remains etched in the Kiwis' collective conscious and his country has paid tribute to him and Norgay with their Commonwealth Games logo and unique team-identifier being titled '29028 Hillary and Tenzing' with the figure, needless to pen, being the height of the Himalayan peak.

Undoubtedly, an honour of this magnitude is befitting of the pair who climbed their way into the history books.

"It's an incredible story and one that will inspire our athletes. Our athletes strive for the qualities that made Sir Edmund and Tenzing great and we'll be asking them to draw on those characteristics in Delhi," said New Zealand chef de mission, Dave Currie.

With its own dedicated page on Facebook, the campaign has drawn support from Kiwis from both islands and despite initial pullouts by athletes and rampant security concerns, the contingent has made its way to New Delhi amidst passionate fervour from the supporters back home. Daily updates about the goings-on within the athletic circles and the Delhi experience are provided.

The NZ CWG site, also called, provides the latest news on the Kiwi contingent and a foreword on the logo by Edmund Hillary's son, Peter Hillary, who explains lucidly what the venture stands for.

"It is about being passionate, being totally committed to where you want to go, much like my father and Tenzing when they were climbing the Everest," he said.

Clearly aimed to motivate the New Zealand athletes in Delhi, the Indian connection is driven home by the logo.

"New Delhi itself is in the shadow of the Himalayas and thus, it is a great figure to represent the goal, the summit," says the younger Hillary who scaled the Everest with his father in 1990, becoming the first father-son duo to achieve the feat.

It'll remain to be seen if this generation of Kiwi athletes manages to reiterate the actions of the legendary Robert Snell (New Zealand's 'athlete of the century'), Jack Lovelock and Danyon Loader among many others when the Games kick off in two days. The mountain's there for all to see and New Zealand will look to ascend this one too, with the spirits of Hillary and Tenzing lending a hand.