Monday, February 20, 2012

McCaw dreams of quake-hit city being 'cool' again Tue, 21 Feb 2012

Richie McCaw has learned over the years the importance of putting the bad experiences behind him and looking forward.
It is a philosophy the Rugby World Cup-winning All Black captain thinks applies not only on the rugby field, but also to his hometown a year on from the February quake that devastated Christchurch. You won't find him preaching about it, though.
"I don't like saying that to people because they say, 'Well, your situation is not the same as me,''' McCaw said.
"It's tough for people who have lost loved ones. It's easy to say [move forward] and tougher to do.''
In a roller-coaster year, McCaw, 31, has not been immune from the effects of the February quake that claimed 185 lives and caused huge destruction.
His property was hit by silt and mud from liquefaction, and his home is cracked and partially sunk. He continues to live in the house for now.
"Compared to some people, I'm pretty good, really. It's just frustrating at the time with the liquefaction to deal with. As to how bad [the house] is, I'm just waiting to find out. That's taking a while, but that's the way it is.''
Having missed the first big Canterbury quake in September 2010, McCaw initially found it difficult to understand what people were feeling.
But five months later, he was in Christchurch's Merivale Mall when the killer 6.3-magnitude quake hit.
There was "the usual panic and stuff, which you can understand''.
"I couldn't really go far - because I was on crutches - until it stopped.
"And then I hopped my way out, and drove off. But seeing the supermarket, and all the stuff come off the shelves and stuff like that - it was pretty scary really.
"It's quite hard to understand what it's like unless you are actually there. And that's what I found after September; I didn't really understand until I was amongst it.
"We had a few guys who were down here during the World Cup and we had a couple of reasonable [quakes], and they were like, 'Hell, if it's any worse than that I wouldn't like it'.''
McCaw, the Herald's 2011 New Zealander of the Year, will be busy with Super 15 rugby training and other commitments tomorrow but he sees the quake anniversary as a chance to think about those who died and those who were seriously injured.
"You don't hear a lot about the [injured], who have lost limbs and stuff like that. There's a hell of a lot of those people. One minute you are all good, and then `bang', that happens.''
He says he never considered for a moment leaving Christchurch. He wants to see the city rebuilt.
"The people who are going to live here are the ones who are going to make [a new city].
"You have got to look at it as a wee bit of an opportunity too, I think. Hopefully in 10 years' time we will look back, and hopefully things are really progressed and you'll think, `We have got a pretty cool city again'.''

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