In 2000 the Olympic Games returned to Oceania for the first time since 1956 with Sydney hosting the Games of the XXVII Olympiad.
Rower Rob Waddell had made his Olympic debut at Atlanta four years earlier finishing 7th in the single sculls final. In the intervening years Rob had dominated world rowing with his two world titles in the single sculls and won New Zealand's only gold medal of the Sydney Games with a dominant performance in the event at the Penrith Lakes.
Barbara Kendall added to her medal collection when she won bronze in the mistral boardsailing and Aaron McIntosh also won bronze in the men's event of the mistral. Mark Todd retired from Olympic competition with a bronze medal in the individual three day event.
But injury and bad luck conspired against the New Zealand team in Sydney. Top cyclist Sarah Ulmer managed an agonising fourth in the individual pursuit. New Zealand's equestrian horses suffered from injury robbing the team of a medal in the three day event and cutting participation to just two entrants in the individual. And a lack of wind on the usually blustery Sydney harbour didn't help New Zealand's chances in sailing.