New Zealand Olympic medallists

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New Zealand at the Olympic Games

Flag of New Zealand
IOC code  NZL
NOC New Zealand Olympic Committee
Olympic history
Summer Games

*with Australia as Australasia

Winter Games

New Zealand Olympic medallists have achieved considerable sporting success for New Zealand, often considered to be notable due to the relatively small population of the country (just over 4 million people in 2006). Being located in the remote South Pacific, New Zealanders needed to endure long sea voyages to attend the early Olympics. It was not until the VII Olympiad in 1920 that New Zealand sent its first team. Prior to that, three New Zealanders won medals competing for Australasian teams in 1908 and 1912. On only two occasions since 1920 has New Zealand failed to win a medal at the Summer Olympics, in 1948 at London and in 1980 at Moscow, when only four competitors were sent as a result of the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott.[1]

New Zealand has had a much smaller participation in the Winter Olympics, due to the country's temperate climate, not generally experiencing the severe winters to lowland levels, common in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere. The first New Zealand team to attend a Winter Olympics was in 1952. In 1992, Annelise Coberger of New Zealand became the first person from the Southern Hemisphere to win a medal at the Winter Olympics when she won silver in the slalom at Albertville in France. Her medal is included in the list below.

The sporting rivalry between New Zealand and bigger neighbour Australia has been evident at many Olympic Games. In 1984, some Australian media outlets poked fun at the New Zealand gold medallists, saying they had been sitting down on the job at the Los Angeles Games, where they were successful in canoeing, equestrian, rowing and sailing. The New Zealand media pointed out that New Zealand had finished 8th on the final medals table, and Australia only 14th. New Zealand has finished higher than Australia on the medals table only in 1976, when Australia failed to win a gold medal, and Los Angeles in 1984.

Total medals[edit]

Gold Silver Bronze Total
43 19 41 103

*Table includes New Zealanders who competed as part of Australasia in 1908 and 1912.


  • First medal (by a New Zealander): Harry Kerr (1908, for Australasia)
  • First Gold medal (by a New Zealander): Malcolm Champion (1912, for Australasia)
  • First medal (for New Zealand): Clarence Hadfield D'Arcy (1920)
  • First Gold medal (for New Zealand): Ted Morgan (1928)
  • First female medallist: Yvette Williams (1952)
  • First female Gold medallist: Yvette Williams (1952)
  • First double medallist: Peter Snell (1960, 1964)
  • First double Gold medallist: Peter Snell (1960, 1964)
  • First double Gold medallist at a single Games: Peter Snell (1964)
  • First triple medallist: Peter Snell (1960, 1964)
  • First triple Gold medallist: Peter Snell (1960, 1964)
  • First triple medallist at a single Games: Ian Ferguson (1984)
  • First triple Gold medallist at a single Games: Ian Ferguson (1984)
  • First quadruple medallists: Ian Ferguson & Paul McDonald (1984, 1988)
  • First quadruple Gold medallist: Ian Ferguson (1984, 1988)
  • First quintuple medallist: Ian Ferguson & Paul McDonald (1984, 1988)
  • First (and only to date) winter olympics medallist: Annelise Coberger (1992)
  • First female double medallist: Vicky Latta (1992, 1996)
  • First female triple medallist: Barbara Kendall (1992, 1996, 2000)
  • First female double Gold medallists: Caroline & Georgina Evers-Swindell (2004, 2008)




Most successful Olympians[edit]

New Zealanders who have won two or more gold medals, or three or more medals:

Name Gold Silver Bronze Total
Ian Ferguson 4 1 - 5
Paul MacDonald 3 1 1 5
Peter Snell 3 - - 3
Danyon Loader 2 1 - 3
Mark Todd 2 - 3 5
Simon Dickie 2 - 1 3
Dick Joyce 2 - - 2
Alan Thompson 2 - - 2
Caroline Evers-Swindell 2 - - 2
Georgina Evers-Swindell 2 - - 2
Valerie Adams 2 - - 2
Blyth Tait 1 1 2 4
Barbara Kendall 1 1 1 3
Andrew Nicholson - 1 2 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New Zealand Olympic Committee: 1980 Moscow
  2. ^ Bruce Biddle originally finished fourth in the cycling road race. When the original Bronze medallist was subsequently disqualified for drug usage, Biddle should have been placed third. However he was not awarded the Bronze medal as he had not been asked to take a drugs test. Despite the continued efforts of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee refused to overturn its decision.