RIP Sir Edmund Hillary.
It hard to express how I feel at this moment. Obviously sad, but more than that. When a nation loses an identity, an icon, a bloody legend how do you express that? The fact that the news of his passing has struck a chord worldwide, is a testament to the man.
It's hard for anyone who isn't a Kiwi to understand the impact this will have on our country. Sir Ed was the epitome of a New Zealander: adventurous, brave yet humble and self effacing, and through all his success and problems, he remained down to earth and a nice bloke. He got out and did what was believed couldn't be done with the pioneering, number 8 wire mentality we believe is in all Kiwis. I'm not just talking Everest, but his expeditions to the Antartic and his work in Nepal.
In the current media climate, where words like great and legend are bandied around so often they lose their meaning, this man truely deserved them. Helen Clarke called him, "the greatest person to ever be a New Zealander". It's pretty hard to disagree with that.
It's a sad day, but in remembering Sir Ed and his achievements, it makes you bloody proud to be a New Zealander. As a Kiwi living in the Uk, I don't really need telling, but it's times like this that remind you, you come from the best country in the world.
I thought I'd finish this post with a quote from Sir Ed that says it all really. On announcing he had reached the top of Everest, " We knocked the bastard off".