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Sunday 09 April 2017

"You will witness Christchurch rise again"

Posted in: NZ Writing
By Blake Skjellerup - 23rd February 2011

Blake Skjellerup
Out Olympian Blake Skjellerup has produced an inspiring message of hope as he watches the devastation in his home city on a Calgary TV screen.

The speedskater rushed to find news of family and friends after the horrific, shallow 6.3 magnitude jolt which has left the Garden City shattered.

"It breaks my heart to be so far away and not be able to help those who need it," he writes in his blog. "So I am taking to what I know best. For a city already struggling, the latest ‘quake is a blow to the morale of a truly great city. The city came together after the September ‘quake, and the city picked itself up. This time around, the damage is not only superficial - lives have been lost, and the city is unrecognisable."

Skjellerup says New Zealand is a picture-perfect country, and Christchurch is no exception. "Known as the Garden City, it truly is an amazing place to visit. Today is its darkest day and my thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones. Disasters like this have everlasting effects on a city and its community, not only emotional and financial, but to the spirit of a community," he says.

"For those of you who have always wanted to visit New Zealand, I ask of you this: Save your pennies, rally your friends, and in a year from now, take that trip to the great down under."

The Olympian says Christchurch will welcome visitors as it seeks to revitalise the city and daily life. "Those who have passed will not be forgotten, and in their honour, the city will continue to be the city they loved and called home," he says,

"Christchurch will need our love and care for years to come. As important as it is to rebuild the city physically, the rebuilding of the society as a whole will take time. I know that my city will be standing strong. Mother Nature hit us hard, but we will hit back with the rejuvenation of strong, proud city."

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Blake Skjellerup - 23rd February 2011