Players of New Zealand stand on the podium during the awards ceremony for the women’s rugby sevens at Tokyo 2020 on July 31, 2021. (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)
New Zealand’s Olympic athletes won a record 20 medals at Tokyo 2020, beating the nation’s previous best of 18
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson on Sunday congratulated New Zealand’s Olympic Team on making history at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“New Zealand athletes have made history at the Tokyo Olympic Games winning 20 medals. Medals were achieved across eleven sports, the broadest range of success in New Zealand Olympic history.”
Peter Burling (L) and Blair Tuke of New Zealand pose with their silver medals after the sailing men’s skiff 49er event at Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
Previously, the most successful Olympics for New Zealanders was at Rio in 2016, when 18 medals were won.
“I am enormously proud of our New Zealand athletes who rose above the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their training schedules and competition cycles to deliver outstanding performances.
Lisa Carrington (L) and Caitlin Regal of New Zealand pose for photos during the awards ceremony for the women’s kayak double 500m final at Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)
“They competed in Tokyo without their friends and families on the sidelines of their events, which would have made it even more challenging. In their absence the support staff on the ground have played a very important role in our success at these Games.”
“This was an Olympics like no other with significant operational and safety challenges and I would like to commend Japan and the International Olympic Committee for delivering an event of this magnitude despite the challenges of the global pandemic.”
“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the ‘team behind the team’ who have not only done a phenomenal job of ensuring all our athletes were ready and able to perform at their peak, but were able to travel and compete safely at the Games.
Bronze medalist David Nyika of New Zealand poses after the men’s heavyweight (81-91kg) boxing competition at Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 6, 2021. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)
“I particularly acknowledge the NZ Olympic Committee; President Mike Stanley, Chief Executive Kereyn Smith and their team including Chef De Mission Rob Waddell. High Performance Sport NZ, the National Sporting Organisations, and Sport NZ have also worked tirelessly to ensure athletes were well prepared and that our athletes, coaches and support staff were kept healthy and safe in Tokyo.”
“Our attention now turns to the upcoming Paralympic Games and the team of Para athletes heading to Tokyo to find their own success on the world stage and continue to make New Zealanders proud,” Robertson said. (Xinhua)