Gary Player shows 'laaities' how it's done

2016-08-10 08:52
Brandon Stone and Gary Player (Getty)

Rio de Janeiro - He is 80-years-old, but Gary Player showed the youngsters in Team South Africa a thing or two at Friday night's Olympic Games opening ceremony. 

South Africa, thanks to being named 'Africa Do Sul' in Portuguese, were third out in the list of competing nations to be unveiled at the Maracana Stadium. 

It meant that the athletes and management who formed part of the parade were on the turf for more than three hours as they waited for all of the countries to emerge. 

For some, that wait meant an occasional rest ... but not for Player. 

"It was unreal; incredible," golfer Brandon Stone said of the opening ceremony. 

"Gary and I were walking side by side and he was like a kid in a toy store ... just a grin from ear to ear and loving every second of it and it's only gotten better since then.

"I'm 23 and I had to have a seat down but Gary stood for the whole three-hour opening ceremony. The guy is incredible ... he wasn't going to miss a thing.

"Every golfer that came past he gave a little handshake to ... it was a long night but it was worth it. Those three hours of standing there waiting for everybody to come through was worth seeing that flame being lit."

Player is managing South Africa's gold team, which consists of Stone and Jaco van Zyl.

"I feel great. If you ever need motivation to train or to work hard then this is the kind of week you need to go to," said Stone.

"Having watched Cameron (Van der Burgh) get silver kind of gave me a little fire in my belly to try and go and get a medal for South Africa.

"But at the same time this experience has been priceless and whether I win gold or finish last it's going to be a week I'll never forget."

The golf starts on Thursday.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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