Par­ents, fans and sat­is­fied tourists

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NICKI DAVIDSON

It is a long way from the French High Pyre­nees to Mata­mata but for To­nio and Gisele Di Giro­lamo the trip will be worth it if their son Re´ mi (28) can win a medal for France at the 2010 Row­ing World Cham­pi­onships this week.

The Di Giro­lamo’s are stay­ing in Mata­mata af­ter vis­it­ing Taupo and com­plet­ing the Ton­gariro walk, and hope to fit in day trips to Ro­torua and White Is­land be­tween Re´ mi’s train­ing and heats for the men’s light­weight dou­ble sculls with his row­ing part­ner Jeremiah Azou.

They are hope­ful their son will make the fi­nal, al­though he will prob­a­bly be chal­leng­ing hot favourites Storm Uru and Peter Tay­lor from New Zealand and the strong Bri­tish duo of Zac Pur­chase and Mark Hunter.

‘‘The com­pe­ti­tion is hard and tough. We hope he will get a medal but it will be dif­fi­cult as there are many good row­ers. We will be happy if Re´ mi has a good race with no mis­takes,’’ Mrs Di Giro­lamo said.

He is in with ev­ery chance hav­ing won medals at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 world champs in the light­weight quadru­ple sculls, as well as pick­ing up a bronze medal in the dou­ble sculls at Septem­ber’s Euro­pean champs in Por­tu­gal. But the cou­ple have a sec­ond team to cheer for now.

‘‘We will be happy if France or New Zealand gets the gold medal,’’ Mr Di Giro­lamo said.

The High Pyre­nees are noted for their stun­ning alpine vis­tas and moun­tain tor­rents and it is a pop­u­lar spot for kayak­ers, al­though it lacks the quiet wa­ter for row­ers.

The cou­ple say New Zealand is both sim­i­lar and dif­fer­ent to the town they come from but their 23-day trip has been won­der­ful so far.

‘‘It is very green here and the peo­ple are very nice and happy to help you.’’

Sup­port: To­nio and Gisele Di Giro­lamo have trav­elled from France to Mata­mata to sup­port their son Re´ mi at the 2010 Row­ing World Cham­pi­onships.

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