A history of Māori competing at the Olympic Games
The Olympics are spread over three sections:
E ngā mātāwaka o te motu, tenā Koutou katoa.
In promoting and recording Maori participation in the Olympics, we attempt through research to collate and record correct names and their Iwi, however there will be times when data collated is not correct, including athletes that have been missed off the list, please contact email@example.com with any error or additions that need to be rectified correctly.
Tiki Garratt, CEO Maori Sports Awards
“A reminder to all, that the roots of our Aotearoa nation began before 1840 – and the fruits of our whakapapa tree continue to remind us that our sweetness comes from that diversity. “
Ta Tamati Reedy KNZM
New Zealanders first competed in the 1908 Summer Olympic Games in London as part of an ‘Australasian’ team.
The first Māori to compete at a Summer Olympic Games was in 1932 at the Los Angeles Olympics were John Hoani MacDonald and Lawrence Jumbo Jackson competing in the rowing eights.
Māori to date have won a total of fifteen gold medals, eight silver medals and six bronze medals.
At the Rio Māori had 43 athletes in the Summer Olympics (21.6%) and 7 Officials, 4 Māori in the Rio Paralympics, and 2 Maori representing Australia in the Summer Olympics.
Total Māori participation in this year’s 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics is 56.
Notable performances to date by Māori athletes:
- John Hoani MacDONALD Rangitane NZ flag bearer at the 1932 Summer Olympics at Los Angeles USA.
- Simon Wi RUTENE Te Arawa competed in four (4) winter Olympic games, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, in Alpine Skiing. Simon was the NZ flag bearer in 1988.
- Ian FERGUSON MBE Ngati Tuwharetoa New Zealand’s most successful Olympian with four gold medals, competing in five Olympic Games, 1976 Montreal, 1980 Moscow, 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul, and was the NZ flag bearer at the 1988 Seoul Olympics
- Jai TAURIMA Ngati Kahungunu won silver at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, (Jai represented Australia) in the long jump.
- Peter MARTIN Tainui NZ flag bearer at the 2004 Paralympics at Athens, Greece. Peter won two (2) Gold and one (1) Bronze at the 2004 Paralympics, in Field Athletics (Shot Put, Discus, Javelin).
- Lisa CARRINGTON MNZM Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga ā Māhaki Gold in the KI 200M at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Gold in the K1 200m and Bronze in the KI 500m at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Canoe Racing. Lisa was the Flag Bearer at the closing ceremony at Rio. . 2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS Gold in the KI-200M, Gold in the K1 500m, Gold in the K2 500M, Lisa is now Aotearoa’s most successful Olympian, with six Olympic medals (five gold, one bronze).
- Cameron LESLIE Ngapuhi Triple Gold medalist and world record holder at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, 2012 London Paralympics and 2016 Rio Paralympics in the150m individual medley swim events. Was selected for the Tokyo Paralympics in swimming and wheelchair rugby but withdrew due to his wife giving berth as the same time as the Paralympics.
- Kayla WHITELOCK (nee Sharland) Rangitane competed in her third (3) Summer Olympics – 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio in Hockey. Was selected for the Tokyo Olympics but was injured before departure.
- Holly ROBINSON Ngai Tahu 2016 Rio Paralympics, Silver in the Javelin F46 Flag Bearer, 2020 TOKYO PARALYMPICS Gold in the Javelin F46.
Compiled by Te Tohu Taakaro o Aotearoa Charitable Trust in partnership with the NZ Olympic Committee