NOT many can say they’ve shared a man-love moment with Prime Minister John Key.
Queenstown snowboarder and Winter Games big air bronze medallist Nick Hyne, 25, now has that distinction after giving New Zealand’s top politician a bear hug (right) on his way to the podium.
Hyne’s hug didn’t bother security staff with Key who was in town for the closing ceremony of the 10-day Games up Coronet Peak last Sunday.
Hyne says he and fellow Kiwi Stef Zeestraten, who won gold, joked about hugging Key, also Tourism Minister, after realising he was presenting medals.
“He put his hand out to shake my hand and I just kind of went from there and released my grip and went around the back and did it,” Hyne says.
“He thought it was funny – I think – and he was like, ‘You kicked ass today’, or something like that. It was kind of cool because afterwards quite a few people were like, in a lot of countries that wouldn’t happen. It was pretty casual,” he says.
“[Key] seemed stoked on the event and said jokingly he was going to go back to Wellington on Monday and talk to the Tourism Minister about more funding for 2011.”