Kayak champ gets more gold

Eight-year-old Jett Murray holds David Smith’s Olympic gold medal after Smith was presented with the key to the city and the mayoral chains at Shellharbour. Picture: ADAM McLEANLittle Jett Murray was watching from 17,000 kilometres away when Warilla kayaker David Smith stepped onto the Olympic dais and had his gold medal hung around his neck.
Nanjing Night Net

Yesterday the flame-haired Barrack Heights eight-year-old enjoyed a far closer inspection of the magical hardware, marvelling at its rich purple ribbon and holding its full weight in his hand.

“It was heavy,” he reported.

“It was amazing because I’d never seen one up that close in my life.

“It was great for [Smith] to get a gold medal because [it shows] hard work pays off.”

Smith, one-quarter of Australia’s victorious London Games K4 1000 metre kayak crew, was honoured yesterday at a modest ceremony full of heart in Shellharbour’s Civic Plaza.

The ceremony honoured all the city’s 2012 Olympians including hockey bronze medallist Kieran Govers (represented by his mother Jenny), fellow hockey player Casey Eastham (absent due to bridesmaid duties), swimmer Jarrod Poort and hockey umpire David Gentles.

But Mayor Kellie Marsh reserved the key to the city for Smith alone.

“This key represents the key to the hearts of the people of Shellharbour, because we’re very, very proud,” she said, later swapping her mayoral jewels for Smith’s medal.

Formalities were broken up by acoustic songs from “Chalkie”, who finished on a stirring note, I Still Call Australia Home, while the crowd sang.

Jayden Allen, 10, was among the Warilla Surf Lifesaving Club members who queued for an autograph from fellow member Smith. “When I was little he taught me to paddle,” Jayden said.

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