Marise Chamberlain was an athlete ahead of her time. She remains New Zealand's only female Olympic track medallist and for four decades was the fastest New Zealand woman over 800m. She set world records over distances from 440 yards to the mile.
Sarah Walker, New Zealand’s first Olympic BMX medallist, was born in Whakatane in 1988 and grew up in nearby Kawerau. She attended Kawerau South School and Trident High School in Whakatane. She started racing at the age of 10, in 1999. She’d watched her brother, Matt, riding BMX and thought it looked fun and wanted to have a go herself.