Hamish Bagley. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
A young Olympic snowboarding hopeful from Wanaka who was
killed in a fiery car crash would have celebrated his 18th
The "completely devastated" family of Hamish Bagley said they
were still in shock after his death on the Lindis Pass in
Otago, which had left them planning a funeral instead of an
18th birthday bash.
His father Roy, who was in the United States when the crash
happened, said the news had come as "a hell of a shock".
However, he said the family had been "absolutely blown away"
by the messages of condolence and tribute that has poured in
from all around the world, from friends and colleagues of the
Hamish had been on the official long list of potential New
Zealand competitors for the Sochi Olympics, but wasn't
selected for the final 15.
"We've had huge support from all over the world. Hamish has
touched so many people that we probably didn't realise."
Mr Bagley said quite a few of the international Olympians
competing at Sochi had been in touch.
"We're getting all sorts of tributes and wonderful support
and feelings through social media, and it's quite humbling."
Speaking from his Arrowtown home, Mr Bagley described his son
as a quiet achiever, prepared to give anything a go, but who
never blew his own trumpet.
"He just got on with his work, and it's quite lovely to see
that he's finally getting a bit of coverage for what he
achieved in his nearly 18 years," he said.
"I have always been proud of my son. As a sports person he's
always had a good, honest attitude to his sport and given it
everything, and it's now nice to see that people are coming
out and supporting what he did and expressing their pleasure
of having known him and competed against him, and with him."
Mr Bagley said the family had been inundated by messages from
his son's friends, and said it was helping in part with the
pain of losing him.
"I guess if you have to go through this as a parent, and you
find this out, it gives you pride in a horrible time," Mr
"He's been around the world, competed around the world and
met hundreds of people and done things that most people
wouldn't have probably achieved in their whole life and he
only had 18 years.
"There was still a lot of potential in him, which we'll never
Hamish, who was also a keen skateboarder, died when he was
thrown from his car as it left the road on the Lindis Pass on
Sunday night. The car rolled down a bank and exploded.
- Patrice Dougan, APNZ