Betty Laing and Danyon Loader at Moana pool yesterday.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Two Dunedin swimming greats will forever look down on
Dunedin's Moana Pool, reminding those who follow in their
footsteps what can be achieved.
Olympic gold medal winner Danyon Loader and his coach, the
late Duncan Laing, had their achievements recognised
yesterday when two of the complex's pools were named in their
A sign with Laing's photo and name now hangs over the
learners' pool, while one of Loader hangs over the main 50m
Laing's wife, Betty, thought the honour was "just marvellous"
and "great for the city".
"I think it's wonderful, but I don't think he [Duncan] would
have liked it much. He would have been humbled by it," she
The work he put in to training swimmers was never for the
accolades, but rather for the enjoyment of it, she said.
Loader described the naming as a "great honour".
"I'm very much a low-key person, but to be honoured with
Duncan in this way is very much appreciated."
Old friends, acquaintances and fans took the time to seek
advice, catch up and collect a signature from the athlete
after the unveiling ceremony yesterday.
The idea of naming the pools after the pair was first raised
by pool patron Bob Smith late last year and he was pleased it
had come to fruition.
"Let's cherish the thought and the memory of two people who,
as a team, made a great contribution to swimming in New
Zealand," he said at the ceremony.
He also reminded the gathered crowd of how Loader was the
only New Zealand swimmer to win gold medals at the Olympics.
In 1992, Loader won the 200m butterfly silver medal at
Barcelona, followed by the 200m and 400m freestyle gold
medals at Atlanta in 1996.
Besides Loader, Laing worked with 10 other Olympic swimmers,
and in 1992 and 1996 was named New Zealand's top sports coach
at the Halberg Awards.