Gordon Llewellyn is a name you have probably never heard off but he played a pivotal role in the birth of the Special Olympics movement in New Zealand.
In 1983, he and three other Hutt athletes – Colin Bailey, Peter Spijkerman and Brent Busby – made history when they attended the Summer Special Olympics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The trip was organised by Grant Quinn, who later said Gordon Llewellyn proved the perfect poster boy for the Special Olympics movement in New Zealand.
Llewellyn was a larger than life character with a bold personality and a fascination with the TV character Magnum PI.
Years later Quinn recalled the flight over and an announcement that came over the intercom.
"This is your captain speaking … I have a very special passenger with me in the cockpit. His name is Gordon Llewellyn from New Zealand."
Llewellyn quickly took over the microphone and proceeded to entertain the whole plane.
"Next minute Gordon was asking, or should I say demanding, that everybody on board give the team a rousing three cheers to wish the team a successful time in Baton Rouge," recalled Quinn.
The team performed well at the Olympics and athletes returned home heroes, proudly wearing their medals for weeks to make sure nobody missed their success.
Llewellyn died in August 2014 and Quinn gave the eulogy. He told mourners that Llewellyn and the other three Hutt swimmers had changed the public's perception of the intellectually disabled.
They had helped win mainstream acceptance and played a key role in promoting an organisation that now had more than 7000 active members.
Now that summer's finally here and the holidays are just around the corner for many, we'd love to hear about your favourite summer holiday memories. Has there been a trip that you continue to think about years later? Where did you go, with who and what did you get up to? What made it such a stand-out experience? As usual, please put 'NFP' in your comment if you don't want it included in a travel article. Cheers.
As the Government moves to double employees' sick leave entitlements, a man is calling for a law change to go even further – and allow workers to take a paid day off on their birthday.
When Clifford Hallett blows out the candles on his cake in a couple of weeks, he'll likely wish for an extra leave day to celebrate.
Hallett has launched a petition to Parliament requesting it pass legislation to give all employees that right.
Tell us what you think.
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27.7% Yes27.7% Complete
69.2% No69.2% Complete
3.1% Not Sure3.1% Complete
The SPCA Pet of the Day is Gabe from Porirua.
"I am a special dude who has had an unusual start to my rehoming journey. I am completely deaf but that doesn't stop me having a great time! I am a fun, loveable, boy who has stolen the hearts of everyone at the centre. I am looking for an experienced owner, who has a suitable property for me to thrive in. I'm always up for a walk or a game to play, and I love to find things to do and keep active. I am looking for a home with teenagers or adults, and a home without cats or small animals. I am happy to play with other active dogs, and love to be social with both people and dogs. If you are interested in me and my goofy personality - chat to the canine team."