Olympics have increased my feelings for Māori culture 'ten-fold' - boxer David Nyika

By Te Ao Toa
NZ boxer David Nyika spoke to Te Ao Toa.   Source / File

NZ bronze medal-winning heavyweight boxer David Nyika says his Olympic experience has transformed his relationship with Māori culture. 

The 26-year-old, who has Ugandan whakapapa, told Te Ao Toa that the influence of Māori culture has been "contagious" throughout the games village.

"It's kind of changed my entire outlook on, I don't want to sound dramatic and say life, but my feeling of connectedness to Māori culture has increased ten-fold," Nyika said about the honour of being flagbearer for Aotearoa at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo games.

"I respect the rugby sevens men and women so much. Basically, with the help of the support staff and the wider team, they've created a culture within their own teams that has spread and it's so contagious throughout the entire village. 

"There's no country here that does it quite like us in terms of respecting ourselves, respecting our teammates, respecting our culture."