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Gold Medal Moment

November 5th, 2015

Charlie Line and his gold medal from Sonny Bill Williams. Screen grab from Alma Rugby video

Yes, the World Series was exciting with the Kansas City Royals beating the New York Mets 4-1 to take the title. But the sporting event we’re featuring happened on the other side of the world, in England.

And it’s not even about New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, winning the World Cup against Australia in what some are saying was the best final ever … it’s about what happened right after the game.

14-year old Charlie Line, in his excitement surrounding the victory, ran onto the field as the All Blacks were doing their victory lap of the stadium. A security guard didn’t just stop him … he full-on tackled him to the ground. Rugby style.

The next thing Charlie sees is his hero and World Cup champ, Sonny Bill Williams, helping him up off the ground and walking him back to the stands. But what happened next was worth its weight in gold. Sonny Bill Williams hung the gold medal he had just worked so hard to win … around Charlie’s neck … to keep!

You can see the tackle and then Charlie Line being given the medal at the end of the video:

Mr. Williams said, “The way he got round the security guard he could be a future All Black in the making.”

What’s interesting is that being an All Black isn’t just about being a great rugby player. The All Blacks have a motto: Better People Make Better All Blacks.

A little over a decade ago, the All Blacks had the talent to win the world cup … but for some reason weren’t. Something was missing. So they made some changes . The biggest change? They focused less on winning, and more on the kind of people they were as a whole.

The team’s mental skills coach, Gilbert Enoka, summed it up, “If you neglect nourishing who you are, where you come from and what you are about then you just become a team that operates skin deep; we have to be a team that operates bone deep.”

What does that mean exactly?

They have a rule to be humble — that no one on the team is too good or famous to do even the littlest things — like cleaning up the locker room after the game (not just grabbing their own stuff and going). The biggest stars literally take turns sweeping it until they’re proud of how clean it is.

They have to (and want to) take care of themselves for the greater good of the team — eating right, sleeping well, training hard.  They aren’t thinking of themselves. They’re thinking of their team, the team mates who came before them, and the future generations of All Blacks who will be proud to wear the jersey one day and all that it represents.

“They are not there to get. They are there to give and leave a legacy that goes beyond them and the present moment,” according to  an article on the topic .

They also happen to be arguably the most successful sports team in history.

And Sonny Bill Williams’ act of kindness? It wasn’t random so much as it is embedded.

Hopefully the Charlie Line’s of our generation will have what it takes to make a team like this.

P.S. What message do you think it sends that a someone was rewarded for running past a security guard onto the field?

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