Winter Olympian Aaron Orangi and his bobsleigh are surrounded by West Melton School pupils on his recent visit to the school

Bobsleigh treat for West Melton pupils

by Kent Caddick

West Melton School students had a special treat recently with a visit from one of the members of New Zealand’s 2006 Olympic bobsleigh team.

Aaron Orangi, a pharmacist at the Darfield Pharmacy, was one of the five New Zealand bobsleigh racers selected for the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

The school’s promotions officer, Rita Spadoni, said Aaron talked to the children how it was a difficult challenge with very little funding.

“He impressed upon the children how he was very determined and worked extremely hard to train and find the finances to compete.

“As part of the presentation he explained his role as a brakeman, explained some scientific facts about weight, velocity and speed.

“He also showed the children the clothing they wore during the competition and elaborated on the meaning of the Olympic flag rings and colours.”

A highlight for the children, and some of the parents who came along was the chance to sit in the bobsleigh, which Mr Orangi had bought with him. At the Olympic Winter Games in Italy in 2006 — New Zealand sent its largest team to the winter games with 18 athletes competing.