• The New Zealand Team appoints its first female CEO in 2010 – Kereyn Smith takes the reins and leads Olympic and Commonwealth Sport movements in New Zealand.
  • Rugby Sevens and golf are ratified as official Olympic events in 2009. New Zealand women go on to become the first ever silver medal winners these both events - Lydia Ko (OLY#1298) (golf) and the women’s rugby seven’s team making history.
  • At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games we see Skicross introduced for the first time – like BMX on the snow. New Zealand’s Michelle Greig (OLY#1115) Sochi 2014 debuted to compete against the world’s best in this fast-paced sport.

Burling Tuke Gold Medal Rio


  • Peter Burling (OLY#1006) and Blair Tuke (OLY#1221) won the sailing 49er silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Every Olympic medal is special, but this one was even more so – it was the 100th Olympic medal won by New Zealanders. Burling and Tuke weren’t finished then, either. Four years later in Rio de Janeiro they completed some unfinished business by repeating their 49er gold medal.
  • Siona Fernandes (OLY#1143) and Alexis Pritchard (OLY#1196) were New Zealand’s representatives when women’s boxing became an Olympic sport at the Olympic Games in London in 1912. Pritchard became the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic boxing bout when she beat Tunisia’s Rim Jouini.
  • Sarah Walker (OLY#1101) was a medal favourite when BMX made its Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008, but had to settle for fourth. She made up for her disappointment when she grabbed a silver medal in London in 2012. She had hoped to do even better in Rio de Janeiro four years later, but a broken arm ruled her out of the Olympic Games. In 2016 Walker was appointed to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Shot-putter Valerie Adams at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012. Photo: Getty Images.

Dame Valerie Adams (OLY#874) wins her second gold medal in women’s shotput at the London 2012 Olympic Games – an initial silver medal was upgraded to gold after Belarusian Nadezhda Ostapchuk tests positive for doping.  She went on to claim her third Olympic medal taking silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

  • At the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, New Zealand athletes compete in the first ever editions of Olympic freeski slopestyle and halfpipe and snowboard slopestyle.
  • Beau James (OLY#1242), Byron (OLY#1243) and Jossi Wells (OLY#1244) create a stir as a rare set of three siblings to all compete at the same Olympic Games at Sochi 2014.
  • More than 50,000 children benefit from New Zealand Olympic Ambassador visits in 2014.
  • In 2015 the NZOC Awarded Global Women in Sport Trophy

Lydia Ko Rio2016 D15

  • Golf was played at the Olympic Games in 1900 and 1904 and then not again until Rio de Janeiro in 2016. New Zealander Lydia Ko (OLY#1298) helped to celebrate its long-delayed return by playing outstandingly to win a silver medal.
  • Rugby union was played at the Olympic Games in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. There was then a 92-year gap until rugby, in the form of sevens, returned to the Olympic stage for Rio 2016. Fiji won the men’s competition, their first Olympic medal of any colour, and New Zealand, captained by Sarah Goss (OLY#1276), won the women’s silver medal, after losing the final 24-17 to Australia.
  • Mahe Drysdale (OLY#896) and Dame Valerie Adams (OLY#874) completed notable trebles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Drysdale, competing in his fourth Olympic Games, won the gold medal in the single sculls, meaning he had won two golds and a bronze in that event since 2008. Adams, also in her fourth Olympic Games, won the shotput silver medal, meaning she had won two golds and a silver in that event since 2008.
  • It was a case of third time lucky for slalom canoeist Luuka Jones (OLY#1051) at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After finishing 21st in her specialty event in 2008 and 14th in 2012, she hit her best form to claim a silver medal in Rio.
  • New Zealand shooting had to wait nearly 50 years for a second Olympic medal after Ian Ballinger’s (OLY#213) bronze in 1968. Finally, Natalie Rooney (OLY#1342) of South Canterbury struck silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 in the women’s trap event.

Flatwater Kayaker Lisa Carrington on the water at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012. Photo: Getty Images.

  • Sprint kayaker Lisa Carrington (OLY#1131) has become one of New Zealand’s most dominant champions. She has not been beaten in her specialty K1 200 event since 2011 and has won two Olympic gold medals, plus a bronze in 2016 in the K1 500. She has also been named Maori Sportsperson of the year six times.
  • Julie Brougham (OLY#1256) became New Zealand’s oldest Olympic competitor when she took part in the dressage event at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Brougham, riding Vom Feinsten, was making her Olympic debut.
  • At Rio de Janeiro in 2016 New Zealand won 18 medals, the most it had won at any Olympic Games. The medals were won in eight sports – rugby, shooting, rowing, canoeing, cycling, athletics, sailing and golf.
  • Seven New Zealand Olympians – Dame Valerie Adams (OLY#874), Sir Russell Coutts (OLY#421), Sir Murray Halberg (OLY#94), Sir Peter Snell (OLY#151), Sir Mark Todd (OLY#514), Sir John Walker (OLY#380) and Dame Yvette Williams (OLY#76) – have been knighted predominantly for their sports performances. Adams was made a Dame in 2013 and when she competed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she became the first New Zealander so honoured to compete at an Olympic Games.
  • In 2016 the New Zealand Team supported the Mangueria Community/Favela in Rio with visits, coaching sessions and donation of clothing and sports equipment.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott & Nico Porteous Welcomed Home

  • New Zealand burst through at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games when freestyle skier Nico Porteous (OLY#1381) and snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (OLY#1384) both won medals, their country’s first at a winter Olympic Games since Annelise Coberger (OLY#585) in 1992. Porteous was 16 years 91 days when he won the men’s halfpipe bronze, and Sadowski-Synnott was 16 years 353 days when she won the big air snowboarding bronze. They are New Zealand’s youngest Olympic medallists.
  • 2019 Te Urunga Tū is established to guide greater inclusion of Maori culture within the New Zealand Team and NZOC and the New Zealand Olympians Commission host Sustainability Tree Planting Day. Educational resources are produced in Tokyo to support cultural connections between New Zealand and Japan