Published Thursday 31 May 2012

Video Interviews

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games 1500m Race.

This is a New Zealand Olympic Committee Olympic Education Chat with a Champion interview. New Zealand Olympian Nick Willis on skype interview.


Nick Willis was born in Lower Hutt (near Wellington) in 1983.Running talent obviously runs in the Willis family, as Nick and his brother Steve are the only brothers in the history of New Zealand to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.

When he was at Hutt Valley High School in January 2001, Nick became the fastest New Zealand student to run a mile in just 4 minutes and 1.33 seconds.

After high school, Nick was awarded an athletics scholarship at the University of Michigan in the United States of America. He thrived in the environment, and his running went from strength to strength. He represented New Zealand at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2005 World Championships, reaching the semi- final each time.

At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Nick took the Gold Medal in the 1500m.

In 2008, he reached the final of the 1500m at the Beijing Olympic Games. After a tight race, Nick finished third to claim the Bronze Medal. In 2009, the winner of the race, Rashid Ramzi, was disqualified because of a positive drug test. So Nick’s Bronze Medal was upgraded to a Silver. (For further information on Nick’s experiences at the 2008 Olympic Games, see “It Pays to Play Fair” in the Living the Olympic Values resource, http://

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Nick was recovering from knee surgery, but he didn’t let this stop him from winning the Bronze Medal.

Nick Willis currently lives in Michigan with his wife Sierra, when he isn’t travelling to train and compete.

For more about Nick, see the Living the Olympic Values resource, available from olympic-values




Career highlights

2010: Bronze Medal in the 1500m at the Delhi Commonwealth Games (3 min 42.38 sec).

2008: Silver Medal in the 1500m at the Beijing Olympic Games (3 min 34.16 sec).

2006: Gold Medal in the 1500m at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games (3 min 38.49 sec). First New Zealander to win Gold in this event at the Commonwealth Games.

2005: Broke the New Zealand record for the 1500m, held for 32 years by John Walker.

2002: Fourth in 1500m at the World Junior Track and Field Championships.

2001: Record for fastest New Zealand student over a mile (4 min 1.33 sec).


Related Resources

Rob Waddell Chat

Chat with a Champion: Interview with Rob Waddell, Olympic Rower, Gold Medallist.

Alison Shanks Chat

Chat with a Champion: Interview with Alison Shanks, Olympic cyclist

Rebecca Wardell Chat

Chat with a Champion: Interview with Rebecca Wardell, Olympic heptathlete

Living the Olympic Values

Students will discover the Olympic Values, express their own values, explore and analyse the values of others and demonstrate these values through active participation.