Jackie (centre) and David Tomlinson (far right) pictured alongside fellow New Zealand officials Simon Taylor (far left), Kelly Hudson (centre left) and Amber Church (centre right)

Countdown to Tokyo: Meet the Tomlinsons

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Great Britain’s Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh became the first married couple to win an Olympic gold medal as part of the same team since 1920, when Cyril and Dorothy Wright achieved the feat in the sailing competition.

The hockey competition at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo will also feature a married couple, although neither Jackie Tomlinson or her husband David will be chasing medals or even holding a hockey stick, for that matter. Well, not on the field of play, at least. 

In September of 2019, Jackie and David – who are both teachers at Palmerston North Boys High School – were named on the officials list for Tokyo 2020, Jackie in the role of Technical Official and David on the umpire’s panel. It will be a first Olympic Games for either of the Tomlinson duo, ensuring that there is double excitement about the prospect of their trip to Japan later this year.

We caught up with Jackie and David – who has umpired 97 international matches, just three games short of earning his Golden Whistle – to talk about their appointment as well as their hopes and ambitions for the year ahead.

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