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From Gizzy to the Olympics: Ishtar Mackey-Huriwai to rep Aotearoa in Paris

From Gizzy to the Olympics: Ishtar Mackey-Huriwai to rep Aotearoa in Paris

Ngāti Porou descendant and Ishtar Mackey-Huriwai is set to take the world by storm, landing a spot to represent Aotearoa in Muaythai’s first appearance as a demonstration sport at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris next month.

Mackey-Huriwai will be heading to Paris to show her skills in the sport against more than 1000 other athletes hailing from 24 other countries across five continents.

The New Zealand Muaythai Federation said this morning she will be representing her whakapapa on the world stage.

“Nō Ngāti Porou au and our Iwi has a long line of tīpuna wahine who lead our hapū. The kaha that they had is in me and the way I will portray this mana is through Muaythai. I know when I enter the ring, I have my tīpuna and my whānau behind me. Ahakoa he kotahi he manomano.”

Mackey-Huriwai started competing in tournaments when she was seven years old and has subsequently achieved many accolades over her career so far.

New Zealand National Head Coach, Victoria Parr, acknowledged Mackey-Huriwai and all the effort she has put into the sport throughout the years.

“Ishtar is a multiple-medallist with a record beyond her years. We wish her all the best at the Paris Olympics. She carries the mana of our entire team NZ Black Gloves and our nation.”

This is the first time Muaythai has been recognised as an Olympic sport through demonstration and is celebrated widely throughout the community.

Parr says the recognition of the sport falls on the back of those who have worked tirelessly to see the sport they love on a stage as grand as this.

“This is a huge celebration and win for Muaythai. Recognition by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) last year was a significant milestone, and congratulations to everyone who has worked tirelessly over the past 20 years.”

Despite all of the achievements earned so far, Mackey-Huriwai remains humble in wanting to see the sport grow even more.

“This opportunity will not only benefit me but all those in our Muaythai community aspiring to participate in the Olympic Games.”

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