By bringing back five medals from Gold Coast 2018 (one gold and four bronze), the New Zealand boxing team dusted off a 68-year-old record, equalling the number of medals won during the Auckland 1950 campaign.
Alexis Pritchard competed at the London Olympic Games, as well as the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The 34 year old won a bronze medal at her most recent campaign and describes the 2018 boxing team as unique. She believes its success can be attributed to the close links weaved between the Kiwi boxers.
“This team was always run in an inclusive way and that started 14 months ago. Once we arrived in the village we were like a family”.
Above: Alexis Pritchard among the New Zealand boxing team at a press conference on the Gold Coast
Pritchard explains the two boxing coaches worked closely with the athletes to develop a performance culture.
“The boxers took ownership of their journey. Our voices got heard, we were asked our opinions and we were listen to.
“This culture had a really great impact on the team and I believe that because of these things we performed well”.
It’s a type of thinking that was also applied at the Olympic Winter Games, where 18-year-old Finn Bilous competed in slopestyle skiing.
After his competition he went to support the New Zealand long track speed skaters. Bilous, who usually competes as an individual, enjoyed the atmosphere which came with being part of a multisport team.
“We got the opportunity to see sports we’d never seen before. It was cool to hear from those guys and see their training requirements for performance. They have a different approach compared to us, they’re a lot more regimented so it was interesting to compare with the way we do things.”
Above: The New Zealand Winter Olympic Team entering in the stadium at the PyeongChang 2018 opening ceremony
Winter Olympian Bilous adds that the positive vibe inside the New Zealand team reached its peak with the historic medals wins.
“The atmosphere in the team was good then Zoi got that medal and it went to great and then Nico got his medal and it went to amazing!”
Alexis Pritchard hopes the New Zealand Gold Coast boxing team and its family like approach has paved the way for a new generation to succeed.
"Maybe the next lot of girls will go further than I did. I hope they’ll break the ceiling again and go better than bronze!”PyeongChang 2018 Gold Coast 2018 Olympic Winter Games Commonwealth Games