Tenzing Norgay's son said it was a "great honour" to find the New Zealand Olympic Committee had included his father's name in its logo for the Commonwealth Games in India, starting on October 3.

"To find my dad's name in the logo has surprised me," Jamling Tenzing Norgay Sherpa said. "Sir Edmund Hillary was a national hero for New Zealand but they decided to pay tribute to the spirit of the team and we are extremely thrilled."

An Everest climber himself, Jamling said that in 1953 his father could not speak English and Sir Edmund did not understand Nepali, so they talked little on their ascent. "But they worked as a team and it was the passion to excel that helped them overcome all odds."

Now, 57 years later, the New Zealand Olympic Committee has paid tribute to that spirit by making the logo "29028 Hillary and Tenzing" for the games in Delhi. The "29028" refers to the height of Mt Everest in feet when it was first climbed.

"My father visited New Zealand many times and even today the two families remain great friends," Jamling said.

Tenzing Norgay died in 1986, and Sir Edmund, at one stage New Zealand's High Commissioner in New Delhi, died in 2008, aged 88.

- NZPA