Richie McCaw (Gallo Images)
Wellington - As All Blacks captain, double
World Cup winner Richie McCaw could do no wrong, but as a talisman for New
Zealand Olympians it seems he can do little right.
New Zealand media are abuzz with the
"McCaw curse" after a string of competitors at the Rio Olympics
underperformed while McCaw looked on.
The latest to be hit was world golf number
one Lydia Ko who had a disappointing start to her first round as McCaw watched
She recovered with a spectacular eagle
after McCaw left to see his fiancée Gemma Flynn in the New Zealand women's
hockey team who lost their semi-final 3-0 against Great Britain.
Fairfax Media is running two Olympic tables
on its Stuff website - one showing New Zealand with a total of 10 medals with
the Richie curse but the alternative table says it could have been 13 without
Television New Zealand asked McCaw if he
was bad luck for the New Zealand team.
"Perhaps I am. I might have to
leave," he joked in reply.
McCaw watched the New Zealand men's rugby
sevens team crash out before reaching the medal stages, and was on hand to see
the women's team lose their final to Australia.
He was also in the main stadium when shot
putter Valerie Adams, considered a sure thing for gold, was beaten on the last
throw by American Michelle Carter.
"Kiwi Olympians must be viewing Richie
McCaw as a sports-watching Grim Reaper, muttering 'uh, oh, I'm doomed' if they
spot him," the Stuff website suggested.
On the New Zealand Herald website, readers
appealed to McCaw to stay away from Olympic events.
"Send Richie home!! He's jinxing
everything," one person wrote. "Seriously Richie watch the next few
events from a pub ... Let's get back on the Gold Track!" said Kiwi On
Ships. "Please Richie, don't go to the sailing," added Matt.
But it hasn't all been negative around
McCaw as he was on hand to watch New Zealand's gold medal victories in kayaking
Ko was unfazed by the "curse"
saying "it's pretty cool he came out to watch" and added she hoped he
would return after she finished the first round four shots behind leader Ariya
Jutanugarn from Thailand.
Flynn was also supportive of having McCaw
around, describing him on an Instagram post as her "lucky charm".