The Olympics have always been about more than winning a medal for world No.1 golfer Lydia Ko.

For the globetrotting Korea-born Ko, they're also a chance to reconnect with her New Zealand roots and a wide range of elite Kiwi athletes she rarely sees.

And that included athletes who were only spectators, rather than competitors, in Rio, with Ko meeting Richie McCaw at Kiwi House hours after claiming silver in the women's golf.

Ko has long been an admirer of McCaw - who has been spotted supporting several New Zealand athletes after heading to Rio to cheer on fiance and Black Stick Gemma Flynn - and the golfer capped a memorable day by finally meeting the All Black great.

Advertisement

Legend meets legend.

Posted by NZ Olympic Team on Saturday, 20 August 2016

The 19-year-old was fresh off finishing five strokes behind Korean winner Inbee Park after sinking an 18th hole birdie putt to edge China's Shanshan Feng by one stroke.

But Ko also relished the chance to be part of a team environment, meeting New Zealand athletes from a variety of sports.

"Because I don't live in New Zealand right now, and I don't go back home that often, there's not may times when I can cross paths with other New Zealand athletes," she said.

"That was one of the greatest things I was really excited about this week."

Among those was rower Eric Murray, two-time Olympic gold medallist alongside Hamish Bond in the men's pair, who was at the Marapendi course supporting Ko in her last round on Saturday.

"To see him out here, to come and support me, I think that's been amazing."

Ko said one of her cherished Olympic memories would be seeing the New Zealand flag out on the course, and to hear the Kiwi support over the four days of competition.

"I feel like coming down the stretch that really helped me to push through.

"I knew I wasn't only doing this for me, but for the other athletes that were here and for the whole of New Zealand.

"Hopefully I made them proud."

-NZN