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2009-06-25 00:05 - Five New Zealand Olympian Fencers Honoured
Posted by Brillmartmore from same (Olympics)
OlympicsJune 23rd, Olympic Day. Seventeen ceremonies were held throughout New Zealand which brought together 580 of the men and women who have represented New Zealand at the world’s greatest sporting event, the Olympic Games. All of New Zealand’s one thousand one hundred and eleven Olympians were acknowledged and honoured and they or their family representative received a uniquely numbered Olympic pin.

Of New Zealand's 1,111 Olympians, five were fencers who were honoured and will receive their unique Olympian Pin. They were:

Brian Pickworth (1960), Martin Brill (1984, 1988), David Cocker (1984), Gavin McLean (1992), Jessica Beer (2004). Click on name for NZOC profile.

NZOC Picture of Olympian certificate and Pin

Image NZOC - Olympian Pin and Certificate

For more on this story click here
New Zealand Olympian Pin:

Picture of Olympian Pin

Image courtesy M. Brill

Olympian number 1 is Edward Henry (Harry) Kerr who competed in the 1908 London Olympic Games and also won New Zealand's first Olympic medal, a bronze, in the 3,500m walk. For more on the Harry Kerr story click here

The first New Zealand Olympic fencer was one of our most successful men's champions, Brian Pickworth (now living in Northland) who represented New Zealand in foil, epee and sabre at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Olympian number 145.

Image Brian Pickworth in Team uniform, courtesy NZ Olympic Museum.

Other Olympian fencers honoured were; Martin Brill, Olympian 411 (Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988); David Cocker, Olympian 418 (Los Angeles 1984); Gavin McLean, Olympian 644 (Barcelona 1992); Jessica Beer, Olympian 877 (Athens 2004).

“It has been a special moment this evening to be honoured like this with my family present, thank you” said Martin Brill at the ceremony hosted by the Christchurch City Council. “It’s also a moment to acknowledge that the journey was more than an individual endeavour, it was a team effort, from our whole fencing community and I thank you all. For me the contribution and inspiration of my formative coaches Merv and Rosemary Sharfe stands out. My family (my mum encouraged me to give fencing a go, Kate, my wife, kept me going when it got really tough) and  all my training partners helped. I remember going into Tisdals Sports in Queens Street as a first year fencer at age 13 and buying my visual foil from Brian Pickworth, he said ‘fence well’. That inspired, it was a small thing and a good thing, it helped. To everyone, thank you.”

The Olympic  Day 'Olympian ceremonies'  coincide with the unveiling of an Olympian Wall of Honour, engraved with the names of all New Zealand's Olympians, at the Olympic Museum in Wellington, marking the conclusion of the four year long project.

To date there are 1090 All Blacks, but Olympians are leading by 21 with 1111!

For more info on our fencers at Olympic Games click here

For more NZOC news on this click here

For a full list of Olympians click here

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