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Bulldog Water Polo Star, a New Zealand Native, Reacts to Tragedy
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 5 years ago on
March 16, 2019

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While Emily Nicholson was focused in the pool during Fresno State’s water polo battle against Michigan on Friday, no doubt her mind was on her native New Zealand.

“It’s heartbreaking. This is the first time anything like this ever happened. We’re such a peaceful and welcoming country. For someone to go in and abuse that, it’s really heartbreaking.” — Emily Nicholson

A gunman killed at least 49 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier in the day.

The team leader in goals spoke to GV Wire about the tragedy following the game.

“My mom was actually the one that messaged me. I saw it after practice. I then went straight to Facebook, and it was just everywhere … everywhere,” she said about learning about the massacre.

Nicholson: ‘It’s Heartbreaking’

Nicholson still can’t believe something like this happened in her native land.

“It’s heartbreaking. This is the first time anything like this ever happened. We’re such a peaceful and welcoming country. For someone to go in and abuse that, it’s really heartbreaking.”

New Zealanders Are Resilient

Although the Auckland native has never been to Christchurch herself, she praises the city’s resiliency.

“They’re a tough, tough city. We’re a tough country. We stick together. We’ll rise up, we’ll get through this one again.”

Nicholson scored two goals in a 17-7 loss to the Wolverines.

Click on the video above to watch her comments.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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