New Zealand at the Olympics

New Zealand first competed at the Olympic Games as a separate country in 1920. Prior to that in the 1908 and 1912 Games, athletes from Australia and New Zealand competed together as a single team, designated Australasia. Three of the 12 medals won by the Australasian team were won by New Zealanders. 

Even in as early as 1900, New Zealand athletes have competed in the Summer Games. Victor Lindberg was part of the Osborne Swimming Club of Great Britain that represented the Great Britain in the sport of water polo in the 1900 Paris Summer Olympics, winning gold.

After the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZL) was officially recognized, New Zealand competed for the first time as an independent entity in 1920.

New Zealand is fairly consistent in their performance in the Summer Games taking home at least one Olympic medal in most of the Summer Games they attended. The only times that they came home empty handed was in 1948 and 1980.

Their first ever Olympic gold as an independent country was in 1928 when boxer Ted Morgan took the top spot in the men's welterweight division. But Morgan will most definitely not be the last Olympic gold medalist from New Zealand. As a matter of fact, since 1952, New Zealand has won gold in every Summer Games with the only except being 1980.

Their performance in the Winter Games is a bit different though. They debuted in the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway and missed only the 1956 and 1964 Winter Games. However, their first ever Winter Olympic medal will not come until February 20, 1992 when alpine skier Annelise Coberger won the silver for women's slalom in Albertville, France.



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