Native Affairs Summer Series - The Road to an Olympic medal

It was a big year for the rugby sevens, which was played at the Olympic Games for the first time in Rio. New Zealand was expected to finish amongst the medals. The men didn't but the women came agonisingly close to the gold medal, losing to Australia in the finals.

One of the stars of the field was Portia Woodman. Native Affairs spoke to the seven’s star and her whanau before they headed off for Rio.

“I’m confident with our game plan. No matter what,” Portia told Native Affairs.

They went into the tournament as the underdogs – at the time having not won a major fournemtn in 18 months, with the Aussies being number one.

But heading into her first Olympic games, Porita’s gameplan was simple.

“Get the ball and run,”

Playing rugby is in Portia’s blood. Her father Kawhena and his brother Fred were All Blacks and played for the NZ Maori in the 1980s. They created the famous Woodman sidestep – which Portia spent years perfecting.

“I don’t know what I do, it’s just like a millions steps. It just happens.”