Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Jonah Lomu, Rugby Legend (1975-2015)

Jonah Lomu was known for his deft ball-handling skills, superb balance and a sense of timing
One of the finest rugby union players to have graced the game and a favorite son of New Zealand died suddenly on November 18 from a cardiac arrest related to the rare kidney condition with which he had struggled with for most of his career. As former All Black coach John Hart recounted: "He was a fighter until the very end".
Jonah Tali Lomu has been described as rugby’s first global superstar. He was capped 63 times by his country and he scored a record 15 tries at Rugby World Cups, eight of them in 1999 – also a record for most tries at a single tournament. Both records were only matched this year.

The former All Black winger’s casket is carried into Eden Park for his memorial service followed by his widow Nadene and their two sons, Brayley and Dhyreille in Auckland, New Zealand, November 30, 2015. Reuters: Nigel Marple

Lomu’s wife, Nadene releases a dove during the Remembering Jonah Event. AAP Image/SNPA: David Rowland

Former All Black players perform the haka at the said event. AAP Image/SNPA: David Rowland
A public memorial for Lomu was held on Monday at Auckland's Eden Park stadium. Thousands came to celebrate the life of the world’s most famous rugby player. And then one final haka as New Zealand bid an emotional farewell to the All Black legend.

 Jessica Wakefield reporting
World Rugby’s chairperson, Bernard Lapasset, who travelled from France for the service, described Lomu as "a giant of a man (who) leaves a giant space in world rugby".
He said: "He will forever be a big part of rugby's story".
Lapasset recalled how the winger’s emergence on the global stage during the 1995 World Cup in South Africa “took our sport to new level and profile... When I think of that amazing tournament in South Africa 20 years ago, I think of two people. Off the field, I think of Nelson Mandela. On the field, I think of Jonah Lomu. Both men inspired millions around the world”.
On that same evening too, I was in Bangsar in KL to deliver my CC speech #3 titled “Frustrations”. A good speech, I thought.
The KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting was a pretty subdued affair. Maybe we were not powered by Duracell batteries that day.


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