Amazing Sports Stories –3. Emil Zatopek, ‘The Locomotive’

by Roger Childs

He seemed on the verge of strangulation: his hatchet face was crimson; his tongue lolled about. –Sports writer, Red Smith, on Zatopek’s running style.

An extraordinary athlete

The 5000-metre/10,000-metre double has been achieved a few times in Olympic history and most recently in the 2012 London Olympics and at the 2016 Rio Games by Mo Farah. Czech legend Emil Zatopek also almost did it twice. In the 1948 London Olympics he won the 10,000, but was trailing by 50m at the start of the final lap in the 5,000. In an amazing final 400m he closed to within 1.5m of the winner Belgian Gaston Reiff, but had to settle for silver. 

Four years later he would make no mistake and took the two middle distance titles, but that was not the end of it. 

Four medals for the Zatopeks

At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics Mr and Mrs Zatopek won medals on the same day: Dana won the women’s javelin and Emil the 5,000m. He had won the 10,000m a few days before and a well-earned rest was now on the cards. 

However, there was a rumour going round that The Locomotive was thinking about the marathon, even though he had never run one. When questioned by the press he spilled the beans: At present the score in the Zatopek contest is 2-1. This is too close – I must try for the marathon! 

World record holder, Britain’s Jim Peters, was the favourite and he led the strong field of 66 out of the stadium at a fast pace. However at the half way mark, as they turned for home, Zatopek and the Swede, Gustav Jannson, were in the lead and Peters had faded. Then at 25km the Czech went ahead and steadily increased his lead. When he entered the stadium there was pandemonium. 

The knowledgeable spectators realised they were about to witness the most stupendous triple ever in Olympic middle distance running. Standing and applauding – 70,000 people cheering as one – “Zat-o-pek!”- in rhythm to his footsteps – they watched as around the stadium he went. David Martin and Roger Gynn “The Olympic Marathon”

His time of was a world record for an out and back course. 

One of the greats 

Emil Zatopek is one of the greatest middle distance runners of all time. From 1948 to 1954 he won 38 consecutive 10,000m races. However his greatest achievement was to win the marathon on top of the middle distance double in the 1952 Olympics. This is a feat that will never be repeated.

In 1968, the Zatopeks were living in the Czech capital and they actively supported the Dubcek Prague Spring which eased many of the harsh communist government restrictions of the time. The Russians were not pleased as they thought they might lose one of their satellites from the “Communist camp”. It was no big surprise when Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to restore Cold War order on 20-21 August, and as Dubcek supporters the Zatopek family suffered. Emil lost his colonel’s rank in the army and eventually ended up doing manual labour. 

When the communist regime was eventually overthrown in 1989, the new government issued a public apology to the legendary athlete. 

Throughout his life Emil Zatopek remained a modest and humble man, however he retained his sense of humour and was always very quotable. On criticisms about his style, he remarked: I’m not talented enough to run and smile at the same time!

more commentary on Her exit

by Amy Brooke on The Spectator Australia

Conveniently removing herself from facing those few journalists with enough integrity to ask her the questions she is adept at dodging, Jacinda Ardern, recently visiting overseas countries on a charm offensive, has long been widely thought to be laying the groundwork for her move into the global network of high-fliers.

Now, in her carefully contrived, emotional announcement, ‘Let’s get married, Clarke,’ she has given notice she intends to resign as PM on  February 7, setting October 14 as the date for this year’s general election. It was already widely suspected she would soon step down, abandoning a rapidly sinking Labour ship.

Repudiating suggestions she has plans for a job at the UN or elsewhere on the world stage, Ardern declares she just wants a good rest. However, we would have to be particularly gullible to not take this with a grain of salt, given her clear early signs of being ambitious. Working for Labour prime minister Helen Clark, then for Tony Blair’s government, she emerged, aged only 28, as President of the International Union of Socialist Youth, addressing her fellow travellers as comrade. Her far from in-depth, academic degree – (she graduated from university merely with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations) – nevertheless assisted her to position herself as a mistress of empathy, earning widespread acclaim from the Left, world-wide.

Earmarked by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader, she supports the WEF’s Great Reset agenda, headed by the fanatical, apparently megalomaniac and anti-Christian Klaus Schwab, who applauds communist China’s brutal government. Ominously, she has also thrown her support behind the World Health Organisation’s tyrannical attack upon the independence of nations worldwide by seeking to control them with binding international health regulations.

Ardern’s instincts are unfailingly autocratic, to the extent of ignoring the wishes of the 90 per cent of New Zealanders who do not want the country’s name to be altered to the inauthentic Aotearoa, and who have overwhelmingly opposed the Three Waters legislation – which basically hands over the control of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater (recently surreptitiously extended to Five Waters, to include hydro and coastal waters) from local government councils to powerful, corporations of quasi-tribal, part-Maori organisations. The planning behind the infamous He Puapua report which Ardern initially claimed to know nothing about, while her ministers were working on ways to implement it – and which is basically an attack on the constitutional foundations of the country – was only revealed when her government was forced to release it, initially heavily redacted. Its intent is to replace democracy with a co-governance system – as a result of the power moves by a small, extremist group of part-Maori apparently obsessed by this part of their genetic inheritance – even to the exclusion of a far greater proportion of European ancestry. In fact, possibly the greatest damage Ardern has done to New Zealand has been her deliberate promotion of racial divisiveness, to the extent of renaming our public institutions in newly-invented, supposedly Maori terminology which over 90 per cent of the country does not understand – with inevitable consequences.

Very possibly no other New Zealand prime minister has become so universally and deeply disliked, to the consternation of the far-Left, inveighing against those who, acutely aware of the damage she has caused, were increasingly supporting a petition so far signed by nearly 100,000 people, asking her to go.

Ardern’s repeated exhortation to New Zealanders to be kind to one another meshed oddly with telling the population not to speak to neighbours when Covid entered the country, and the appalling decision to refuse to allow people to visit ill and dying relatives during her government’s imposed lockdown, leaving them to die alone, with entry to the country denied even to desperate family members. The compassionate image she presented at the time of the tragic Christchurch massacre was somewhat compromised by her wearing the hijab, the symbol of female oppression which Middle Eastern women have been fighting for so long, their protests bringing them imprisonment, torture, even execution, as in Iran today – an appalling situation in relation to which she and New Zealand feminists have been culpably silent.

Equally puzzling is that in spite of her government’s compliance in receiving New Zealanders living many years in Australia – with very tenuous connections to this country, but with criminal convictions – there has been no move to send back the Australian who committed the appalling Christchurch massacre. However, it provided the perfect excuse for Ardern’s government to review gun control legislation, compelling New Zealanders to surrender targeted weaponry. Gang-related shootings, however, have now reached unprecedented levels, as has juvenile crime, particularly in relation to repeated ram-raids, coinciding with declining school attendance and on-going truancy.

The consensus is that Ardern is quitting as she was due to lose the next election catastrophically. Her popularity has skydived as the accumulation of damage her far-Left government has done is increasingly obvious, not only the litany of failed undertakings and profligate government spending – but the quite shocking attack on our democratic principles.

Given the practice of MPs of awarding themselves lucrative benefits for their selfless overseeing of the interests of the country, taxpayers are annually obliged to bestow a special financial thank-you, in perpetuity, on those who qualify. As a former prime minister, having served for a certain time, Ardern will receive an annuity of $57,000 per year, and after she dies, her surviving partner can be paid half this amount. She could also be paid for scheduled travel within New Zealand, if related to her former role, and can command a chauffeur-driven car. She and Clarke Gayford can have the use of a self-driven car, and he also qualifies for free travel within New Zealand on business relating to his role as her partner.

Moreover, as implied by another former prime minister – (by no means considered  intellectually gifted, but never reluctant to boast about his supposed achievements) –New Zealand’s leaders deserve whatever they can get. A highly questionable notion – particularly given the damage Ardern has inflicted upon the country. What rather comes to mind is that, ‘A good tree does not bring forth bad fruit’.

Original article

gardening with Wally

by Wally Richards


There are many tips that can assist you in achieving better results from your gardening pursuits.

Over the years I have collected so many of them that I sometimes forget some and then one day something will activate the memory bank and out comes another great tip.

Over the last 50 odd years of writing weekly garden articles and books (one of which was Green Tips for Gardeners, that is still available as a few copies are left)

OK, lets open the memory banks and see what comes out now:

First and foremost is: Dont garden the plants, Garden the Soil instead.

This is very simple as a viable soil full of soil life will mean great healthy plants.

Man made fertilizers which contain Super Phosphate are acidic by their composition and that is departmental [detrimental? —Eds] to the earth worms and soil life.

A question I am often asked is why don’t I have earth worms in my gardens?

I dont use chemicals fertilisers or sprays and only use natural and organic type products.

I then simply ask “does your tap water supply have chlorine in it”?

They just about always reply yes and that is the reason for no earthworms and poor soil life as chlorine kills the microbes in the soil along with beneficial fungi and worms.

So simply for the price of $140 you can have a housing with a 10 micron carbon bonded filter connected to your tap (by Snap on hose fittings) that will remove the chlorine.

Chlorine is a poison which has to be filtered out by your kidneys, your children’s and pets’ kidneys.

I learnt about soil chlorine damage many years ago when I was breeding Shar Pei dogs (Roly Dogs that you have to keep your Purex Toilet paper away from.)

I had noticed that my dogs would sniff a freshly poured bowl of water from the tap and walk away to drink out of a muddy puddle. The reason? They would smell the chlorine and having more brains than us refuse to drink it unless desperate.

When I gave them chlorine-free filtered water they would not hesitate to drink it.

My original Shar Peis lived between 5 to 8 years old all of them dying of kidney failure.

SharPei have genetically poor kidneys and any contaminates such as chlorine puts added stress on their kidneys.

Once I switched to filtered water indoors and outdoors then I had Shar Pei living up to 14-15 years of age.

I read some where that chickens live twice as long without having chlorinated water in their drinking bowls.

Tip for those with showers and town supply chlorinated water; put a filter onto the shower and see the difference with your hair and skin (also your health)

Talking about water; growing up I often saw older gardeners watering their gardens by hand and would see them jetting water onto their plants as well as watering into the soil. Why?

Simple they would see insect pests on the plants and with a jet of water would wash them off.

This would reduce the number of pests feeding on the plants which would improve their well being.

I love watering by hand it gives me time to observe the plants close up, see what problems they may have if any, allows me to take care of weeds which pull out of the wet soil easily.

It is also very relaxing and a healthy activity.

It is best to water in the morning or during the day and not so good to water late in the day which because the water does not evaporate over night and can cause fungus diseases such as powdery mildew.

You hear some saying you should not water in direct sunlight, obviously they have never seen a sun shower. Mind you if its chlorinated water onto plants in sunlight that can be bad for the foliage.

Washing your car or windows with chlorinated water leaves streaks, that is the chlorine residue after the water has evaporated.

During dry times soil builds up surface tension which stops water from penetrating.

Often seen in lawns which we call dry spot and in container plants where the water runs down the inside of the container and out the drainage holes in the base.

The plant gets a little drink and is dry again very quickly. It pays in the summer to dunk your containers into a tub of water and watch them bubble, getting rid of the air and tension.

Next time you water the liquid will go where you want it to go, into the growing medium.

On the lawn you see dry spot as a area of brown grasses but the grass on the perimeter is green and lush.

To fix this fill the watering can with warm water and squirt a good shot of dish washing liquid into the water and lather up.

Water this over the dry area to break surface tension. Same can be done to containers that are too big to plunge. In summer hanging baskets outside with plants in them should be dunked once a week as they dry out so quickly.

After a bit of a dry spell when rain is forecast it is a good idea to go and water the gardens to make sure water will penetrate. If not use soapy water trick. In event of a lot of rain this will allow a lot of water to be absorbed into the soil and reduce possible flooding.

It is a total waste of time using dish washing liquid with any sprays unless it is used as an emulsifier for oils.

Used with sprays it will only wash off quicker in rain.

Of course on the other hand use Raingard with any contact sprays or herbicides for rain proofing up to 14 days.

Used in any herbicides Raingard acts as a chemical bridge and you get a 50% better kill faster.

Old gardeners that would grow their vegetables in tidy rows used to hoe up between the rows. The reason they said was to aerate the soil which was correct but it was also breaking the ends of the roots off the vegetable plants which the plants then would create a bigger root system.

Plants would respond and grow bigger faster. It is the same principal as cutting the end off a branch, the branch left will form a lot more branches. Roots are the same. As above, So below.

Direct sowing of seeds where they are going to mature will always create bigger and better plants as opposed to transplanting.

If you buy a punnet of seedlings and there is lots in the punnet then the best way to separate them is to do it in a bucket of water which means less root damage.

If there are too many for a planting then heel them into the garden in a bunch. (make a hole and put them all in as you would do for one plant)

Because they are in a group they will hold nicely only growing a bit over the next couple of weeks when you can then plant some more for succession.

Spraying your preferred plants and vegetables once a week with Magic Botanic Liquid will give bigger, healthier plants quicker than not.

Spraying your strawberry plants weekly with Mycorrcin will increase your crop by over 400%. Start at the beginning of the season.

Cell strengthening your garlic plants with silica spray once a week from time they corm sprout will help avoid you losing crop to garlic rust.

Can also help with curly leaf on stone fruit..

There are heaps more tips like these and looks like I need to sit down and write another book.

Problems ring me at 0800 466464
Web site

Michael Bassett on ‘co-governance’

Are you, like me, getting sick and tired of being told that everything about our culture is inferior to Maori, and that we should learn to live with a constant diet of Te Reo? Turn on Radio New Zealand in the morning and Susie Fergusson, Guyon Espiner and even Corin Dann do the news introductions in Maori. Try Midday Report and you get Mani Dunlop showering us with untranslated Maori phrases. “Aotearoa”, we keep being told, wrongly, is “the original name for New Zealand” when it wasn’t. As an historian who spent a decade on the Waitangi Tribunal, I abhor such crass ignorance. As Michael King pointed out, our country had no name in 1840 except a Dutch version of the words “New Zealand” that had been bestowed internationally on our islands by Abel Tasman when he returned to Europe after his visit in 1642. At the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 both signatories occasionally referred to “islands” or used “Nu Tirani”. It was Sir George Grey, much derided by today’s more belligerent Maori crusaders, who first popularized the word Aotearoa in the 1850s. The MainStream Media (MSM), however, now use it all the time, telling us it was the first name for our lands: the New Zealand Herald, TV ONE, TV3, Radio New Zealand, Stuff, you name it: belligerent ignorance keeps being forced upon us at Jacinda Ardern’s behest and partly funded by the Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Let’s reflect for a moment. During the 2020 election campaign no one from the Labour Party told us that if Jacinda was re-elected we would be flooded with Maori names, place names, new departmental names eg “The Ministry for Women Manatu Wahine”, a bulls-wool version of the Treaty they call “Te Tiriti”, assertions that Matauranga Maori is superior to western science, that lots of advertisements on TV would henceforth be in Maori, and that MSM journalists who could speak a little Maori would have their pay accelerated and their work-loads reduced. Nobody told us that henceforth European culture would be down-graded, false historical narratives would be taught to our children and called “history”, or that more and more hours of the school day would be given over to Te Reo and the peddling of demonstrable falsehoods about aspects of cultural relations. Or that no one in the Ministry of Education would lift a finger to ensure that children were told the facts, rather than codswallop. It is ridiculous to pretend that a language can be taught by sprinkling individual words into sentences in another language. At that level I could claim fluency in French!

Let me be clear. All my life I have argued for Maori to have a fair shake. I marched in the streets in 1960 against an all-white All Black team going to South Africa. Same in 1981 when the South Africans chose to send an all-white team to New Zealand. When as Minister of Internal Affairs I chaired the 1990 Commission it funded many initiatives such as building a dozen new waka to give Maori pride of place at Waitangi in the Queen’s presence on 6 February. As Minister of Local Government I supported local councils consulting Maori when issues important to them arose. I’m the first to acknowledge that Maori haven’t always been treated fairly. But I abhor the ignorance demonstrated daily by Jacinda Ardern’s government, her acolytes, ministers like Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson, and their bureaucracies in the name of “equity”. In between all his other commitments, what efforts has Education Minister Hipkins, or his CEO Iona Holsted, made to ensure that our school children are taught factually accurate information about Maori and Pakeha history? I’d award them a fail mark on what I’ve seen of the school curriculum. Same for what the Minister of Broadcasting – yes, Willie Jackson – prescribes for RNZ and TV. If those ministers and bureaucrats had to pay fines for the inaccuracies appearing on things under their control they’d be bankrupt.

If only Jacinda, her cabinet and her caucus had been better educated, or read more, they might be embarrassed by what is being done in the name of promoting Maori. Why didn’t they tell us at election time what they intended doing? Why the sudden surge of misleading pro-Maori propaganda the moment the election writs were returned? Is it now the sliding poll support for the Labour government that has led them to step up their preoccupation with Three Waters and a costly re-structuring of the health services in the name of greater control by Maori before they lose office?

The worst aspect of all this is that the government’s relentless pro-Maori push is seriously damaging race relations in New Zealand. The 83 percent of our population who aren’t Maori – people like Chinese and Indians who have come here to work hard and to get ahead, not to mention the many generations of Europeans – have to watch rewards going to people on the basis of ethnicity rather than work ethic. Hard-working, talented Kiwi without a drop of Maori blood – and that’s all that most self-designated Maori possess – are passed over for promotion and a place in the sun under this government. The hermit kingdom they call “Aotearoa”, with its tightly controlled borders, has become a social laboratory aimed at facilitating a takeover of authority by a small racial minority backed up by a false narrative.

Original article