Rio 2016 Olympics: Family and friends gather to welcome Kiwi athletes home

Gold medal winners Eric Murray and Hamish Bond will be welcomed back to Auckland this morning. Photo / AP
Gold medal winners Eric Murray and Hamish Bond will be welcomed back to Auckland this morning. Photo / AP

Family and friends of New Zealand Olympic team members are gathering at the Auckland International Airport ahead of their arrival home this morning.

About 170 members of the Kiwi team, including more than 20 medal-winners, are flying into Auckland this morning.

However, their arrival is about an hour later than planned. Flight NZ31 from Buenos Aires is now due to arrive at 5.48am.

The bulk of the team that bagged the biggest medal haul in New Zealand Olympic history - 18 - is returning.

That includes double Olympic champion canoe sprinter Lisa Carrington, double gold medal-winning rowers Hamish Bond, Eric Murray and Mahe Drysdale, gold medal-winning sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, and the silver medal-winning women's sevens team.


Jenny and Paul Gould and their 3-year-old granddaughter Taylah have travelled from Cambridge to welcome home sevens captain Sarah Goss.

Taylah is Goss' cousin and is wearing her official training top to greet her when she gets off the plane.

The Olympians are expected to be in the arrival area soon after 6am.

After a special ceremony, they will head into the central city for the ANZ Welcome Home celebration at The Cloud on Queens Wharf from 9am to 10am.

Silver medal-winners Valerie Adams, Lydia Ko and Natalie Rooney, and bronze medal-winners Tom Walsh and Eliza McCartney, are not among the contingent returning today.
Nor are most of the athletics and equestrian teams.

- NZ Herald

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