New Zealand has a big name and a rich history in athletic sports, clubs, and events, and has had some of the best athletes included in Olympic games and had great winnings in various categories. As NZ history in athletics is strong, we look at some of the most memorable moments and the athletes who participated.
John ‘’Dutch’’ Holland
John Holland made a great impression on fans when he achieved bronze in the 400m Helsinki Games. He placed second in the semi-finals before winning bronze in a time of 52.26. What makes this winning impressive is that the day brought extreme weather which he fought through.
Sir Arthur Porritt
Arthur Porritt is one of the most well-known names in New Zealand Track and Field sports. He made history in 1924 at the Paris Olympics by winning bronze for the 100m Olympic sprints. Although he left athletics soon after, he is still known as one of the most legendary athletes in New Zealand.
Although Norman Reed is from England, he made his name in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics by finishing a 50km race walk with gold. He emigrated to New Zealand in his twenties and immediately got involved in the Olympic Team for Melbourne after he won the Australian Championships.
Barry Magee was one of the top athletes to gain gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics and won bronze in the marathon. He finished second at the 1960 New Zealand Marathon Championships and earned participation in the Rome Olympics. He earned a podium place at 2:17:18 when he finished behind Abebe Bikila.
Jack Lovelock is famous for accomplishing a 1500m gold award at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the middle-distance category. He was born in Crushington on the West Coast and was among the best contenders for gold in Berlin. His popularity with fans had a lot to do with him setting a world one-mile record and winning ”the Mile of the Century” in Princeton.
The athletes mentioned here are some of the most loved historical figures and athletics in New Zealand.