New Zealand Olympic medallists

New Zealand Olympic Medallists

Olympics New Zealand
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New Zealand Olympic medallists

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New Zealand Olympic medallists have achieved considerable sporting success for New Zealand, often considered to be particularly notable due to the relatively small population of the country (just over 4 million people in the 2006 census). Being located in the remote South Pacific, New Zealanders needed to endure long sea voyages to attend the early Olympics. It wasn’t until the VII Olympiad in 1920 that New Zealand sent its first team. Prior to that however, three New Zealanders had won medals competing for Australasian teams in 1908 and 1912. Since 1920 New Zealand has failed to win a medal at the Summer Olympics on only 2 occasions, London in 1948 and Moscow in 1980 when only 4 competitors were sent as a result of the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott.

New Zealand is a temperate country, not generally experiencing the severe winters, to lowland levels, common in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result New Zealand has had a much smaller participation in the Winter Olympics. The first New Zealand team to attend a Winter Olympics was in 1952. In 1992, Annelise Coberger of New Zealand became the first person from the Southern Hemisphere to win a medal at the Winter Olympics when she won silver in the slalom at Albertville in France. Her medal is included in the list below.

The sporting rivalry between New Zealand and Australia has also been evident at many Olympic Games. In 1984, some Australian media outlets poked fun at the Kiwi gold...
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