Precious McKenzie is a well known New Zealand weightlifter but he wasn’t originally from here. In 1936 in Red Cross hospital in Durban South Africa was where he was born. Unfortunately when he was born he had a chest condition. Luckily he survived it and that’s how he got his name ‘Precious One’.
In his early childhood his father Joseph was killed by a crocodile. After he had died his mother Christina started drinking heavily so Precious and his sister got put up to foster care. Life in foster care was horrible, where his foster mothers were evil and treated them very poorly. The foster mothers malnourished them and that caused their growth to stop at 4ft10.
Later on in life he had been practicing gymnastics and his dream was to be in the circus. He wanted to be in the circus but got turned down because they said his skin colour was wrong. When he got rejected by the circus he tried a different sport, which is weightlifting. McKenzie went to try out for the South African weightlifting team and sadly didn’t get selected for the team.
Precious McKenzie moved to England and he hoped that he didn’t get treated the same as he did in South Africa. Once he got settled in England he tried out for their Olympic weightlifting team, without a doubt he made it in the team.
After he competed in the olympics for England he got emigrated to New Zealand in 1970’s. He became very well known for weightlifting here in NZ because he won gold medals in the commonwealth games. Precious McKenzie still lives here in New Zealand and is aged 75.