Businessman and former politician Gareth Morgan was awarded Mental Gymnast of the Decade at last night’s Halberg Awards, beating out a field of stiff competition to claim his first sporting accolade. This year’s Halberg Awards were a special edition of the long-running sports award ceremony, recognizing not just accomplishments from […]
Businessman and former politician Gareth Morgan was awarded Mental Gymnast of the Decade at last night’s Halberg Awards, beating out a field of stiff competition to claim his first sporting accolade.
This year’s Halberg Awards were a special edition of the long-running sports award ceremony, recognizing not just accomplishments from the last year, but those spanning across the entire decade.
This saw Morgan competing with fellow finalists John Banks, John Tamihere and Colin Craig, amongst a long list of other nominees.
But despite the strong field, Morgan was able to rise above the rest and claim the award on the back of his 2020 on-again off-again support for and/or opposition to the Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown, in which he took wildly different positions in a very short space of time, without so much as a single acknowledgment of hypocrisy:
“This was a competitive decade in the field of mental gymnastics,” said Andrew Saville, sports reporter for TVNZ. “Last decade I think we all knew that the award would be won by Joe Karam and David Bain, but this time around it was much, much closer. In the end, though, the sheer acrobatic spectacle required to maintain two so forcefully and unapologetically contrary viewpoints really put Gareth Morgan in a field of his own. It was really hard to witness that and not be impressed in some way.”
Morgan had already earned praise for earlier work during the 2017 election, but it was the 2020 about-face, totally without a hint of self-awareness or reflection, that served as a capstone to his decade of incredible cognitive feats.
Morgan appeared on stage to receive the award, and gave a short but powerful acceptance speech.
“Fuck off, the lot of you,” he told the applauding crowd. “You can all get stuffed.”
Finalist John Banks appeared disappointed and sullen, barely managing a single clap for Morgan. He was in a strong position to take the award, though many observers believe he missed out when he waited until 2021 to perform his greatest routine, claiming he was “not racist”, but had instead only made “generic negative statements about Māori people and practices.”
Source: The Civilian http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/gareth-morgan-wins-mental-gymnast-of-the-decade-at-halberg-awards/