Gold winning athlete Hamish Carter shared his childhood dreams of Olympic glory with pupils at Gate Pa School as part of a visit to Tauranga.
Carter, who won gold in the triathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics, arrived in Tauranga yesterday as part of an ANZ Olympic Town Tour.
The tour involves New Zealand gold medallists visiting schools in 29 towns and cities around the country and finishes this week.
Carter hoped his visit would serve some inspiration about following your dreams. He spoke to a packed hall of children about how far they could go if they had a goal.
"It's a real hard thing to want to do but if you live in a country like New Zealand and you go to a school like this one, it's there. It's achievable, but not if you don't have that dream in the first place," he said.
"Find your thing that you really like doing and pour yourselves into it." Children took turns to ask questions such as "who washes your clothes and cooks your food when you race" and "how many hours do you train for a race" (Carter or his wife and five to six hours a day).
Gate Pa School principal Richard Inder said he was grateful his school had been selected for the visit.
"Children need role models and people who dream and share their dreams with our school children. Going to the Olympics is special and winning a gold medal is very special.
"It will be probably the first time they have seen, touched or heard someone who has won a gold medal."
Children got to play in a London double-decker bus renovated as an "Olympic experience" with a rowing machine and used i-Pads to send this year's Kiwi Olympic team messages of support.
Carter also visited Bayfair Shopping Centre yesterday morning.