Top Sports in New Zealand that Won Most Olympic Medals

New Zealand is always a strong contender at the Olympics. The country performed like a champ in Tokyo and created a record by winning 20 medals. It was also the largest team of athletes Kiwis sent to the international games, who shone like superstars.

However, NZ is not adept in all sports. Additionally, they won most of their medals in the Summer Olympics. Moreover, Kiwis seem to be good at certain games and not so adept at others. So, what are the 5 Olympic sports in which New Zealand have had success? Let’s find out!

1. Rowing


NZ athletes are great at water sports. The country has enough rowing and water skiing enthusiasts who throng the waters all year around. Interestingly, rowing is also the area where the Kiwis always win medals at the Olympics.

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Rowing is the top medal winner for NZ athletes in the summer games. They won 29 medals in rowing to date, which is far more than any other category. The count includes 14 gold, 5 silver, and 10 bronze recognitions.

Additionally, the sportspersons performed equally well in Tokyo. They won most medals in rowing, followed by other categories in the event. Surely, Kiwis just love water!

2. Athletics


Athletics is another strong forte of NZ. It is also among the top sports in New Zealand that brings most rewards to Olympic competitors. Till today, the country won 26 medals in the category that include:

  • 10 gold
  • 3 silver
  • 13 bronze
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NZ has always performed well in athletics. Whether its race walks or hurdles, the competitors came out with flying colors. Tokyo 2024 was also a great event for the Kiwis. They won many medals in sports like shot put, marathon, and more. Even women athletes performed like pros in the game of hammer.

Therefore, fans are not wondering what are women sports like in New Zealand. The fairer folks have enough achievements to prove their worth.

Moreover, the team also created many records that will hold on long into the future. For example, Tom Walsh also crated his longest throw in the competition. Even debut athletes like Hamish Kerr made a name for themselves in the athletics category.

3. Canoeing


We already know the Kiwis are champions at water games. Therefore, it is not a surprise that they will also rule the canoeing category. It is among the outrageous sports in New Zealand that wins awards and attracts many fans.

NZ won 15 total medals in canoeing, including 10 gold awards. In addition, the country also acquired 3 silver and 2 bronze recognitions.

Interestingly, the last Olympics at Tokyo saw many NZ athletes win at canoeing. They also came up at 12th place in the global ranking of countries. The performance was even better than their last stint at Rio 2016 games.

The sport is also popular among the common folks of the nation. Clubs and sporting organizations arrange several canoeing tournaments around the year. Both men and women take part in the games and create an exciting ambiance for the fans and a betting field. No one can beat Kiwis at water events, and their performance is still strong.

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4. Sailing


Sailing is another area where people of NZ excel without exceptions. It is also a hobby for many Kiwis, who like the experience of being in the water. The country won 23 medals in total over the years in Olympics. The count of awards includes 9 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze recognitions.

The participants of the sailing team are all world-class sailors. Additionally, they have to ensure a good track record to represent the country at the international games.

Interestingly, women are also a part of the sailing team and give a tough competition to athletes of other countries. In Tokyo 2024 Olympics, the prominent women sailors included Erica Dawson and Molly Meech.

5. Equestrian


Equestrian seems to be a special category for Kiwis to win awards, says author Kate Richardson (profile is available here). However, they are great horse riders and perform well in any related event.

In the Olympics, three games come under the category:

  • Dressage
  • Eventing
  • Jumping

NZ won 10 medals in the category since it has participated in the event. 3 of them are gold, 2 are silver, while 5 are bronze.

Equestrian has a long history in the country. It won the first gold recognition in 1984 in Los Angeles. Since then, they have been getting better at the sports and events like showjumping. It is also a popular sport in Australia and New Zealand.

Final Thoughts

New Zealand has a rich performance in Olympics. The country has countless medals under its belt and keeps performing better every year. You now know what are the 5 Olympic sports in which New Zealand have had success. The top ones include water events like rowing and canoeing. Swimming is another category where Kiwis shine. Additionally, they also get awards at equestrian events.

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