New Zealand will not withdraw from the Olympic Games if African nations decide to boycott the event in protest against the All Blacks Rugby tour of South Africa.
GV Olympic village
SV Interviewer Mallard with Mr. Holly
CU Mallard questioning Mr. Holly
TRANSCRIPT: MALLARD: "Mr. Holly, if the African nations went through with their threat and called boycott would New Zealand withdraw from the games in order to maintain the stand of the international games?"
HOLLY: "I can give you a very firm answer to that question. In no circumstances whatsoever will New Zealand withdraw. For the reason we have in no way transgressed any rule or regulation of the International Olympics Committee. We're the innocent victims of a situation we cannot understand and I repoat in no circumstances will we withdraw."
MALLARD: "Mr. Holly, this whole situation must have an effect on what must be regarded as the outstanding race of the Olympics - the 1500 metre clash between Bayi and Walker. Now how do you think this is arresting John Walker?"
HOLLY: "I don't think it will make the least difference to Walker or to any other of our athletes. I have told them all - and of course I haven't talked with John Walker naturally for some time because he's been in Europe. But I feel personally that there'll be no difference whatever in his attitude. He would be terribly disappointed if he did not have the opportunity of racing against Bayi. He's far too good and dedicated an athlete to be concerned with anything that may happen except that he would consider like I would it would be a major tragedy if this proposed meet did not take place and they because of pressures from his country and other countries similarly involved had to withdraw."
MALLARD: "Do you think it could be affecting Bayi more than Walker?"
HOLLY: "I'm sure that he, like John Salker, would be looking forward to the clash for lots of reasons. One of the most important of which is that the Olympics are each four years and in another four years who knows Bayi and Walker or either or both may or may not be in the current form and it's a most difficult thing to maintain world form so consistently. So I feel that Filbert Bayi as an individual would be equally concerned with John Walker if the event was not to take place."
The threatened boycott follows the decision by New Zealand's national government to allow their All Blacks Rugby team to tour South Africa, where teams are selected on a racial basis. The former New Zealand Labour Government refused to have sporting contacts with South Africans because of apartheid. Following the New Zealand government's decision, the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa protested the All Blacks tour and took the issue to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Several African member nations re urging the council to direct members to boycott all events in which New Zealanders are competing.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: New Zealand will not withdraw from the Olympic Games if African nations decide to boycott the event in protest against the All Blacks Rugby tour of South Africa. Team manger Bill Holly said New Zealand would compete even if the Africans carried out their threat.
SYNOPSIS: The New Zealand team manger made his statement shortly after arriving the Olympic village. He told Visnews Sports Editor Neil Mallard the decision was final.