The New Zealand Olympic Team is today celebrating an outstanding games that exceeded targets and made New Zealanders proud.
New Zealand athletes finished competition yesterday with a fifth gold medal by Lisa Carrington that brought the total medal count to 13. Performance targets set by both High Performance Sport New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee were surpassed and London now sits equal with Seoul 1988 for the most medals at an Olympic Games.
The silver medal by Sailing’s 49er crew Blair Tuke and Peter Burling saw New Zealand win its 100th Olympic medal while the five gold medals were second only in number to the eight won at Los Angeles in 1984.
President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Mike Stanley has today praised the team.
“The athletes’ performances on the field have been outstanding. Five gold medals, three silver and five bronze is an incredible result in the world’s most competitive sporting arena. The bar continues to be raised and we’ve stepped up with a 44 percent improvement on Beijing 2008. We’re also set to finish inside the top ten percent on the medal table.
“There were a total of 98 performances by New Zealanders during the Olympic Games, with 72 finishing in a top 16 and half of those were in the top eight. We are exceptionally proud of our athletes and the support team behind them.”
High Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Alex Baumann said the games were a success for New Zealand.
"Our team stepped up and performed really well on what is undoubtedly the world’s toughest sporting stage. The Olympic environment puts enormous pressure on athletes. They have to perform on demand in a setting with significant distractions and incredible pressure, against the strongest fields of competitors. So it’s a real accomplishment to achieve what we have at these Games."
Chef de Mission Dave Currie also praised the team. “The athletes and support staff created and maintained a high performance environment in the village. Athletes demonstrated a culture of respect and support as well as an absolute commitment to performance.
“I would also like to congratulate the London organisers for delivering an outstanding games. The facilities, organisation and volunteers were all exceptional. The people of London have also been magnificent and our athletes have responded to that.”
New Zealanders in both London and at home united behind the success of the team. Kiwi House in London was a hugely popular venue and messages of support for the team via Facebook and Twitter were overwhelming.
The New Zealand Olympic Team departs for New Zealand tomorrow (Monday UK time) with the majority landing in Auckland on two flights Wednesday morning (NZ38, 0900h – cycling, and SQ321 1050h, rowing, sailing, hockey).
The official Christchurch Olympic Welcome Home event will take place on Friday 24th August. Additional athletes, including members of the bronze medal winning equestrian eventing team, will fly into New Zealand in time for a day of public celebrations that will cap off the highly successful London Olympic campaign. Around 100 athletes, including most medal winners, will take part.