Our New Zealand Olympic athletes returned home with a record 18 medals; four gold, nine silver, and five bronze. Thousands of fans gathered at The Cloud in central Auckland to welcome home the most successful ever New Zealand Olympic team.
Thousands of fans got the opportunity to meet their Olympic heroes face-to-face.
“I'm so happy to see them with their medals. They all stood on stage representing us, the whole of NZ,” says fan Fan Jeff Haimona Tukua.
Around 170 athletes attended today's event after they arrived back in the country early this morning.
Kayaking gold medallist Lisa Carrington says, “It’s amazing to see a whole bunch of school kids and lots of family and friends and even meeting the other athletes family and friends is really cool.”
Seven’s silver medallist Terina Te Tamaki says, “Definitely going home to see my dog I missed him for a very long time and then seeing my parents and the rest of my family and just all my friends and being home and getting into my own bed.”
The experience was also overwhelming for the athletes' families like the mother of NZ Woman's Sevens player Tyler Nathan-Wong.
Deanne Nathan-Wong mother of silver medallist Tyler Nathan Wong told Te Kāea, “It’s a dream come true not only for her but for us cos when she was young she used to watch the Olympics and she'd say to me mum one day I’d love to be at the Olympics and I said to her well you know you never know you set your little goals when you're younger and each time you get bigger and bigger and eventually she got there.”
Some Olympians have confirmed they will compete again in another four years, while others are just happy to be home back to reality.