Here is a letter to Sarah Ulmer.
You rock! What a wonderful person you are. What a great sportsperson you have been. Sure, you could have won more if you hadn't been injured, but you conquered Everest, winning an Olympic Gold in a world record time. I am thrilled for you. You should be immensely satisfied with your career. You did yourself and NZ proud.
What I like most about you is not your sports brilliance, although I love what you have done. It is your character. You, like Barbara Kendell, light up the world around you. To me, character is way more important than sporting prowess. You embody character. You have joy and you inspire. You embody a piece of writing that means a lot to me, 1 Corinthians 13.
So, thanks for your brilliance and great thanks for your person! I know you will go onto further greatness in the world beyond competition. I urge you to pass it on. Inspire the youngsters of this nation to play hard with character!
I have three daughters in sport. One has applied for a scholarship to go to the Olympics with Hamish C. If she wins, she gets a mentor. You were her number one choice! I hope she wins the scholarship so that your infectious joy and optimism may rub off on her.
Mark and family