Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Precious McKenzie

In the 1970 Precious Mckenzie was a well known weightlifter in New Zealand but was originally from South Africa.

His childhood was a rough journey for him as well as his family. Sadly when he was 3 years old he had a chest condition that was proclaimed incurable. Luckily for him he survived. Because of this, his mother thought he was the Precious one. That is how he got his name. Anyway during that year his father died because of a crocodile. When his mother found out she started to have drinking problem which lead to giving her children to be fostered. His foster mother wasn't feeding him enough so that stopped him growing when he was 1.45m.

When Precious was 11 a Father saw some natural abilities in him. He took Precious to a gymnastic gym. He trained and trained and started to have a dream. A dream of joining the circus. His ambition of being a circus performer ended because of South Africa’s race law. This lead to weight lifting instead.  

As Precious trained and trained he got better and started to compete in competitions. So in 1958 Precious competed in the Natal Bantamweight weightlifting and won the title. He was not selected for the Empire Games because yet again coloured people were not allowed to compete. Later on he was known as South Africa's best bantamweight weight lifter. He finally got selected in 1963 for the International competition but he boldly refused. He emigrated to England and hoped that there it would be non-discriminatory.

He kept training and competing until he finally was chosen to represent England for the commonwealth games in Jamaica. He got a gold medal for Bantamweight division. After competing in the Olympics he came to New Zealand and started a new life with his family.

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