Old Boys at the Olympics: Part One

The Summer Olympic Games are in full swing in Tokyo and we are glued to our screens here in South Africa and more specifically at Maritzburg College where we have no less than nine Old Boys representing the school and their country in some capacity at the games. In last month’s newsletter we met two of our OC’s who were selected to be a part of the SA Olympic hockey team. Going forward we will aim to chat with all our red black white Olympic representatives, from coaches and commentators to players and reserves to find out how the journey was and showcase our pride. While we wait for the Games to wrap up and allow our Olympians some time to return home and celebrate with their loved ones, we want to bring you news of what Super Sport called “the greatest upset in the tournament.”

Old Collegian Opens Scoring in Olympic Belter

While our Olympic South African hockey team couldn’t make it into the knockout rounds of the tournament, they did make history when they pulled off the biggest upset the tournament had seen until then. Germany is ranked nine places higher than South Africa in the world, they are Rio bronze medallists, and South Africa was yet to win a game during this tournament. All of these factors meant that the meet up between South Africa and Germany on the Olympic hockey field was supposed to be a slow day at the office for the seemingly unstoppable German team; but South Africa had other plans.

While Germany was able to snag the opening goal of the game, their celebrations were short lived after South African defender Matt Guise-Brown found the back of the net just a minute later. What ensued afterwards was a thrilling back and forth between the two sides with SA snatching the lead only for Germany to respond with two more goals of their own to pull ahead. After an equaliser from SA and only three minutes into the final quarter, SA drove the final nail into the coffin to clench a tight 4-3 victory over Germany in a classic David and Goliath exchange.

In true College Old Boy fashion, Matt Guise-Brown had this to say to a Super Sport interviewer after the game “Yoh. I can’t put it in words, hey. We come into these tournaments and we’re big underdogs. We showed today how we can punch well above our weight. I’m actually quite emotional.” We certainly recognise the fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude that every OC carries with them even many years after leaving the school.

In the next few weeks we will be chatting to all our Olympic representatives to bring you a first-hand account of what it was like for them playing in the Olympics, on their journey through College and how it led them to where they are now. Keep an eye out for the next newsletter to get to know our OC Olympians.