New Zealand at the Olympics
|New Zealand at the Olympic Games|
*with Australia as Australasia
The first New Zealander to compete at the Olympic Games was Victor Lindberg who competed for the Osborne Swimming Club of Great Britain which won the Water Polo at the 1900 Summer Olympics. Officially New Zealand has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since 1908. For its first two Games, in 1908 and 1912, New Zealand competed with Australia in a combined Australasia team. New Zealand first sent an independent team in 1920.
New Zealand's participation in the 1976 Games was controversial, and led to a boycott of the Games by most African countries, who protested against sporting contacts between the All Blacks and apartheid South Africa.
New Zealand has also participated in most Winter Olympic Games since 1952, missing only the 1956 and 1964 Games. In 1988 the team included Bobsleighers; the first entry in a winter sport other than Alpine Skiing.
New Zealand athletes have won a total of 103 medals at the Summer Games. The most successful sport have been athletics with 21 medals in total and 10 gold medals, with rowing following closely behind, also with 21 medals in total but only 9 gold medals. New Zealand has won a single medal at the Winter Games; the silver medal won by Annelise Coberger in alpine skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics was the first medal won at the Winter Games by a Southern Hemisphere nation.
The 100 medals won by New Zealand put New Zealand at Number 32 on the all-time Olympic Games medal table for total number of medals and Number 27 when weighted by medal type.
National Olympic Committee
Being located in the remote South Pacific, New Zealanders needed to endure long sea voyages to attend the early Olympics. It wasn’t until the VII Olympiad in 1920 that New Zealand sent its first team, comprising two runners, a rower, and a 15-year-old girl swimmer. Prior to that however, three New Zealanders had won medals competing for Australasian teams in 1908 and 1912. Since the advent of international jet air travel in the 1950s, and the greater number of Olympic sports, the size of New Zealand Olympic teams has increased substantially.
New Zealand, as with other Southern Hemisphere countries, has had the disadvantage of needing to peak to compete in summer sports which are held during their winter months. Only two Olympics have ever been held in the Southern Hemisphere, the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, with the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio being the third to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
As a temperate country New Zealand does not generally experience the severe winters, especially to low levels, common in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Consequently, a smaller proportion of New Zealanders experience winter sports (and learn to ski or skate) than the residents of some regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The same applies to many other Southern Hemisphere countries. New Zealand did not send their first Winter Olympic team until 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.
As of 3 December 2013 1111 competitors have represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games. Harry Kerr is considered the first Kiwi Olympian and Adrian Blincoe the 1000th. As at 11 June 2009 of the 1111 Olympians to that date 114 were deceased and the whereabouts of 21 were unknown. By 25 June 2009 only 9 Olympians had not been located. There are no living Kiwi Olympians from before the 1948 Olympics in London.
Medals by Summer Games
Olympic Games where New Zealand athletes competed as part of the Australasian team
|1932 Los Angeles||0||1||0||1|
|1968 Mexico City||1||0||2||3|
|1984 Los Angeles||8||1||2||11|
|Total including medals as part of Australasian team||43||18||41||102|
Medals by Winter Games
|1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo||did not participate|
|1960 Squaw Valley||0||0||0||0|
|1964 Innsbruck||did not participate|
|1980 Lake Placid||0||0||0||0|
|2002 Salt Lake City||0||0||0||0|
Medals by sport
Medals won as part of Australasia are excluded from the above table.
- New Zealand Olympic medallists
- Category:Olympic competitors for New Zealand
- New Zealand Olympic Committee
- New Zealand at the Paralympics
- "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "New Zealand Olympic Committee". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- Athletics in the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand has a paragraph on each Olympiad and Empire Games to 1964
- Leggat, David (11 June 2009). "21 Kiwi Olympians fail to register". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- New Zealand Olympic Committee: 1111 Olympians Honoured this Week
- The Olympics (NZHistory.net.nz)
- The Joseph Romanos list of our best Olympians
- Medal Count for NZ at DatabaseOlympics.com (total of 78 not complete)
- New Zealand Olympic Committee's Museum App