Last year's Games in Beijing' />

Celebrations are being planned around the country this month to mark New Zealand's 100 years of Olympic competition.

Last year's Games in Beijing brought up the 100th year of the Olympiad and in Beijing the 1000th New Zealand Olympian was identified as rower Hamish Bond, although not made public at the time because officials decided to keep quiet on his, or her, identity.

However, rechecking has revealed Bond was in fact No 1002. The 1000th Olympian turned out to be runner Adrian Blincoe. The first athlete to represent New Zealand was bronze-winning walker Harry Kerr at the 1908 Games in London.

Of the current tally of 1111 New Zealand Olympians, 976 have been located; 114 have died. No athlete pre-1948 in London is alive. The missing 21 competed at Games between 1964 and 2004.

New Zealand's Olympic definition differs from the International Olympic Committee's.

While the NZOC identifies an Olympian as an athlete who is selected and accredited, the IOC policy calls for the athlete to have actually competed to qualify for the accolade.

Seventeen functions will take place between June 22 and 24, including events in West Auckland, North Harbour, central Auckland and Counties Manukau. Each athlete will receive a specially designed pin with the athlete's number on it.

But the clock is ticking on tracking down the missing 21 athletes.

* The missing Olympians:

Guy Thomas (Athens 2004); Jaye Bailey, Ruta Lealamanua, Leone Patterson, Gina Weber (Sydney 2000); Dionne Bainbridge, Andrew Lindsay (Atlanta 1996); Joann Burke, Sililo Figota, Nicola Morris, Nick Sanders (1992 Barcelona); Barbara Tilden, Stephen Walsh (Los Angeles 1984); Bob Eastmond (Montreal 1976); Dianne Foote, Pat Ryan, Terry Sale (Munich 1972); Avis McManus (1964 Tokyo).

Winter Olympics: Mattias Hubrich (Sarajevo 1984); Ross Ewington (Sapporo 1972); Anne Reid (Grenoble 1968).