A look through our 100 Year History by the decades
1920's   1930's   1940's   1950's   1960's   1970's   1980's  1990's   2000's  2010's



In 2020, the New Zealand Team celebrates its centenary and 100 Years of the silver fern at Olympic Games.

It was on August 14th 1920 at the Antwerp Olympic Games that the first New Zealand Team marched into an Olympic Opening Ceremony as an independent nation, competing in black with a silver fern. 

New Zealand athletes had previously attended the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1912 as part of the Australasian Team.

Flagbearer Henry Murray leads the Australasian team into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the Games of the IV Olympiad, London 1908. Photo: New Zealand Olympic Museum Collection.

Flagbearer Henry Murray leads the Australasian team into the Olympic Stadium, IV Olympiad, London 1908.

Since our early beginnings, the New Zealand Team has attended 25 Summer Olympic Games and 16 Winter Olympic Games with 1387 Olympians representing New Zealand at the Games, winning a total of 123 medals. 

In Antwerp, swimmer Violet Walrond (OLY#9) was the first New Zealand woman to compete at the Olympic Games. As a teenage girl, she had to be chaperoned by her father, stay in her room while her teammates were training, and she wasn’t even allowed to attend the all-male team function on her return.

From Jack Lovelock winning our first Olympic athletics gold in in 1936, to Dame Yvette Williams becoming our first woman to win Olympic gold, Sir Peter Snell’s double in Tokyo in 1964 and teenagers Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous winning bronze within hours of each other in PyeongChang in 2018, there have been countless inspiring moments. 

Today, the New Zealand Team inspires excellence and our athletes are role models for young New Zealanders, visiting tens of thousands of school children each year. Athletes are proud to be representing our nation and believe being part of a strong and unique New Zealand Team gives them a performance edge when it matters most.

The Olympic Games showcase New Zealand and our culture and values to billions of people across the globe.

In 100 years, the New Zealand Team has had a profound and positive positive impact in New Zealand and our reputation and standing around the world.

Join us on a walk through our Olympic history – decade by decade.

Share a stunning image of the New Zealand Olympian that has most inspired you HERE.