Sports in New Zealand
There is nothing that galvanizes, or makes the nation proud, more than a New Zealand competitor or team beating the rest of the world.
New: Olympic 2012
- New Zealand is Nr. 15 in the traditional Medal Table.
- New Zealand is Nr. 4 in the population based table. (Shows how many medals countries are winning relative to their population)
- New Zealand won 13 medals inclusive 6 gold medals.
- Gold Medals:
- Valerie Adams, athletics, women's shot put
- Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, rowing, men's double sculls
- Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, rowing, men's coxless pair
- Mahé Drysdale, rowing, men's single sculls
- Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, sailing, women's 470 class
- Lisa Carrington, canoeing, women's K1 200 m flatwater
Sport grounds can be found all over the country and half of the population will be active at the weekend. New Zealanders will also try any sport, often regardless of barriers in their way.
Rugby - is the national sport and holds a special place in New Zealanders lives. New Zealand won the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987. They were also the first to wear black uniforms and the silver fern emblem.
Netball - is the female answer to rugby, and is the second most popular sport in New Zealand. A fast-paced court sport, New Zealand’s national team – the Silver Ferns - are often ranked first in the world.
Sailing - Team New Zealand has become a household name in their home country following their consecutive wins in the America's Cup in 1995 and 2000. In doing this, they became the first team from a country outside the United States to successfully win and then defend the America's Cup.
Since Kupe, the first explorer to reach New Zealand, made landfall in Kaiti off Gisborne over 1000 years ago, New Zealanders have a passion for ocean-going craft. New Zealanders were at the forefront of yacht design and racing during much of the 20th century, and continued their dominance into this century. New Zealand is the only country to win and retain the prestigious America’s Cup in 125 years of racing! Even though they lost it in their third defence, it took a wily Swiss to understand that the only way to beat the Kiwis, was to hire one to skipper the yacht.
Auckland, the 'City of Sails', has the largest number of boats per head of population than any other city in the world.
- There are more golf courses in the country per head of population than anywhere else in the world.
- Sir Edmund Hillary, a Kiwi, was the first person to climb Mount Everest.
- New Zealand has won at least one gold medal at every Olympics since 1952.
- Horse racing is another popular pastime and the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding industry is world famous.
- New Zealand had the first commercial bungy jump (AJ Hackett) and jet boating facilities.
- The Coast-to-Coast, one-day race (running, canoeing, cycling), one of the hardest outdoor cross-country team races in the world, is held in New Zealand every year.
- Another fantastic sporting event that is very popular in New Zealand is the Iron Man Triathlon.