Simon Orchard is one terrific sportsman – not to mention a fantastic ambassador for Maitland.
During the first week of Olympic competition there have been some less than gracious moments of defeat from some members of the Australian camp.
Perhaps personal and public expectation has weighed too heavily on their shoulders; shoulders that afterall are still only young.
But some have coped better than others with disappointment and hopefully they will return to Australia’s shores a little more humble for the experience.
Maitlanders, on the other hand, have every reason to be proud of Orchard.
Not only did he contribute to the Kookaburras’ 5-0 win over Spain on Wednesday by scoring in the 29th minute of the game, he has not let the Olympic lights of London blind him.
Orchard has remained loyal to his home-town origins, remembering the Maitland Rams and acknowledging them with the unusual looking gesture – the sign of the Ram – something for all the world to see, and no doubt wonder about.
For some athletes, their London campaign is over; others, including the Kookaburras, still have a way to go in their quest for gold, and the whole of Maitland will be behind Orchard and his team.
But at the end of the day, it’s not the number of medals that count, it’s how these elite athletes conduct themselves on the world stage.