The New Zealand Team is marking 100 days until the Olympic Games and is calling for Kiwis to 'get on board' and support our nation's athletes as the final countdown to Tokyo begins.
Stacey Flulher (rugby sevens), Theresa Fitzpatrick (rugby sevens), Dan Wilcox (sailing), Paul Snow Hansen (sailing), David Liti (weightlifting), Andrea Anacan (karate) and Ella Williams (surfing) were among the New Zealand Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who gathered in central Auckland to mark the Olympic milestone.
With just over three months until competition begins, New Zealand's athletes have been preparing to take on the best in the world in a vastly different Olympic Games environment.
“The Olympic Games is the pinnacle for us and we’re really excited to be working towards representing New Zealand," said Rugby Sevens athlete Stacey Flulher.
“It’s been a pretty different journey to what we thought it would be and we know the Games are going to be different but the most important thing for us is pulling on that black jersey and getting to compete.”
“Today has been a great opportunity to get together with other athletes and reflect on what’s just around the corner.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith says the 100-day milestone marks crunch time for the New Zealand Team.
“Training, focus and preparation now go up a notch as our athletes get ready to excel on the world stage,” said Smith. "Many sports have intensive training camps scheduled between now and Games time and with the trans-Tasman bubble opening up we expect to be seeing competition with our Australian neighbours."
Smith acknowledged that there are still challenges to overcome between now and Games time.
"It's incredibly complex and the environment is continues to change. For some athletes there is still uncertainty around final Olympic qualification events and we're now fine tuning exactly how we will overlay Covid-19 countermeasures on Team operations at the Olympic Games.
"Meanwhile, we are very grateful to be getting underway athlete vaccination which will be a major factor in keeping our Team safe at Tokyo.
"There's no doubt our athletes are preparing for a tough and very different Olympic Games. It's been a challenging journey for all of them but their resilience, determination and sheer strength of will has meant that they will be ready when it counts.
"That's why we're calling for Kiwis to get out and support the New Zealand Team."
The New Zealand Team will tour the country with a record-breaking super-sized skateboard launched today to mark the 100 day milestone and celebrate the future of the Olympic Games.
Olympic Summer Games
“This year, we really need the support of all New Zealanders and that’s why this skateboard will be travelling the country as we ask Kiwis to "Get on Board"," she said.
“Today's Olympic Games have more extreme, more urban and more youth focussed events and the board travelling around New Zealand represents this,” said Smith. "From Tokyo to Beijing and Paris we'll have Kiwi athletes on surfboards, snowboards, kiteboards, skateboards along side other new sports like sport climbing and three-on-three basketball."
"The Roadshow will give New Zealanders the opportunity to learn more about the Olympic Games as they send their support to our New Zealand Team to Tokyo 2020."
The Great Olympic Skate Roadshow will be visiting 40 towns in 41 days, kicking off on Monday May 10th, with Olympians and legacy athletes set to join for parts of the journey.
The Roadshow will finish in Auckland in June with the skateboard then taking up residence at The Cloud as the Tokyo Olympic Games kick off on July 23rd. The board will be a centrepiece at the new "New Zealand Team HQ" Fan Zone where New Zealanders will also be able to gather together to celebrate the Olympic Games, experience Japanese culture and show their support for the New Zealand Team.
More than 200 athletes are expected to represent New Zealand at the Games which will run from July 23rd to August 8th.
There are more than 10,500 athletes from 206 nations set to compete in Tokyo, making it the largest sporting event the world will have ever seen.