David Leggat recounts how New Zealand has won each of our 43 Olympic Games gold medals. Today - from Bruce Kendall to Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell's first gold.
24) Bruce Kendall (1988, Seoul, sailboarding)
Bruce Kendall won a bronze medal when windsurfing made its Olympic debut in Los Angeles in 1984. He went two steps better four years later. The class had shifted from a windglider in 1984 to a Lechner Division II category board, 3.55m long and with a 7.25sq m sail. The winds were strong, and on one day gusted to 25 knots, stirring up almost 2m waves. They should have favoured the heavier competitors, but the skilful Kendall weighed only 143 pounds. He accumulated 35.4 points to comfortably see off Dutch representative Jan Boersma by 7.3 points.
25) Mark Todd (1988, Seoul, individual eventing)
Four years after his victory in Los Angeles, Todd was at it again, and once more with the 16-year-old Charisma. The combination led the field in both the dressage and endurance stages, and completed the job by knocking over only one rail, finishing 10 penalty points clear of Britain's Ian Stark. Todd became just the second repeat winners of the three-day event. Blessed with a touch of equine genius, Todd went on to compete at the 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2012 Games. He was named Rider of the 20th Century.
26) Ian Ferguson/Paul MacDonald (1988, Seoul, K2 500m canoeing)
The Ferg and Mac show was back in business four years after their golden week in Los Angeles. This time it was just one gold to show for their efforts, backing up from their 1984 gold in the K2 500m. They won their heat and semifinals and clinched gold in 1min 33.98s. It was a tight thing, holding off Russians Igor Nagaev and seven-time world champion Viktor Denisov by just .17s. Hungarians Attila Abraham and Ferenc Csipes won the bronze. For Ferguson it was a fourth Olympic gold, more than any other New Zealand athlete. He won a silver with MacDonald in the K2 1000m as well, capping a remarkable Olympic career.
27) Barbara Kendall (1992, Barcelona, sailboarding)
Women's windsurfing made its debut eight years after the men, and a New Zealander was the inaugural champion. Barbara Kendall followed in brother Bruce's footsteps with a convincing win. Using an RS:X board 2.86m long weighing 34 pounds and with an 8.5sq m sail, Kendall accrued 47.8 points, to see off China's Zhang Xiaodong by 18 points. Seven months before the Games, Kendall had fallen off a power boat, and the propeller severed a tendon and broke the scaophoid bone in her wrist. She went on to win silver and bronze medals at the two succeeding Games to be one of the country's most successful Olympians.
28) Danyon Loader (1996, Atlanta, 200m freestyle swimming)
The tall Otago freestyler already had an Olympic silver medal from Barcelona in the 200m butterfly, when he arrived in Atlanta. By the end of the Games he had written his name large on the New Zealand Olympic landscape. The pony-tailed Loader overtook Swede Anders Holmertz just before the turn for home to win New Zealand's first Olympic swimming gold. He clocked 1min 47.63s, .94s outside the then world record.
29) Danyon Loader (1996, Atlanta, 400m freestyle swimming)
Three days after his 200m triumph, Loader was back in the pool for the longer distance. The pre-Games favourite had been world record holder, Australian Kieran Perkins, but he failed to qualify out of the domestic trials. American Tom Dolan, another fancy, failed to make the final. Over the last two laps Loader steadily pulled away and won by 1.3s from Britain's Paul Palmer. Loader, then 21, was coached by the colourful Duncan Laing of Dunedin. In the mid-1960s, Laing had told a meeting of Otago officials that his job was to produce an Olympic champion. They laughed at him. Laing stormed out. It took 30 years but Laing had the last laugh. Loader was Halberg Supreme Award winner that year, and New Zealand's athlete of the 1990s. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003. Prominent Australian coach Don Talbot called Loader ''the quiet assassin". Laing, who died in 2008, said: ''Beneath the laidback exterior is a steely determination. He does not speak of it; he just does it."
30) Blyth Tait (1996, Atlanta, individual eventing)
New Zealand's terrific history in eventing began with Mark Todd winning the Badminton horse trial in 1980. Todd went on to win back-to-back individual Olympic golds and while he was a trailblazer, others contributed to New Zealand's standing in the equine sport. Notably Blyth Tait, who has bagged four world championship gold medals, in team and individual, had won team silver and individual bronze in Barcelona in 1992. In Atlanta, he was supreme on his mount Ready Teddy at the Georgia International Horse Park. After the opening dressage phase, Tait was equal 15th, but the pair surged to the top of the leaderboard during the cross country, incurring just 5.2 penalty points. Fellow Kiwi Sally Clark, on Squirrel Hill, was second, but Tait could afford to drop one rail and he'd still win gold. The Northland horseman did the job in style, one of only four combinations to go clear in showjumping and inside the allotted time. Gold was his, and for good measure, Clark took silver, the first time New Zealanders finished on the top two steps of the podium. Then, aboard Chesterfield, he helped New Zealand to a team bronze, alongside Andrew Nicholson, Vicki Latta and Vaughn Jefferis.
31) Rob Waddell (2000, Sydney, single scull rowing)
Rob Waddell arrived in Sydney a favourite for the singles sculls. After all, he had won the previous two world championship titles. He had to withstand a determined challenge from Swiss rower Xeno Muller, who had won gold four years earlier in Atlanta. The two dominated the race, Muller keeping his nose in front until a mighty surge by Waddell with around 250m remaining pushed him a boat length clear. That burst decided the gold and silver medals. Waddell won in 6min 48.90s, with Muller 1.65s behind. It was New Zealand's only gold medal of the Sydney Games. Waddell tried to regain his seat for 2008, after taking time out to work as a grinder with Team New Zealand in the America's Cup. Two-time world champ Mahe Drysdale and Waddell had to take part in a best-of-three raceoff. Each had a win, before Drysdale won the decider, when Waddell pulled up early with issues surrounding an irregular heart beat. He is now chef de mission for the New Zealand team going to Rio this year.
32) Hamish Carter (2004, Athens, triathlon)
In 2000, Carter had a shocker in the Sydney Olympics. Four years later he was on top of the world. He was 34 and the clock was ticking. Bevan Docherty, fellow New Zealander and fierce rival, was world champion. New Zealand had high hopes, and the pair combined to produce one of New Zealand's finest sporting achievements. In the heat of Athens, Carter and Docherty were at the head of the field in the run. They went clear in a three-way battle with Switzerland's Sven Riederer. When Riederer was seen off it meant New Zealand would, for just the second time, get gold and silver in an Olympic event. A few hundred metres from the line, Carter burst clear, flung his arms in the air at the line. Docherty, eight seconds back, had to settle for second. The best quote came from fourth-placed finisher, Australian Greg Bennett: ''If you're going to get beaten, you want to be beaten by tough bastards." On that broiling day, New Zealand had a pair of them.
33) Sarah Ulmer (2004, Athens, 3000m individual pursuit cycling)
When Sarah Ulmer arrived in Athens, she had already forged a notable track cycling record. A world junior champion and double Commonwealth Games individual pursuit champion, Ulmer was at her third Olympics in Greece. She'd finished seventh in Atlanta and fourth, missing bronze in the rideoff for third and fourth, by 0.08s. Shortly before Athens she won the world title in Melbourne, setting a world record 3min 30.6s in qualifying. In Athens, Ulmer was supreme, becoming the first New Zealand cyclist to win an Olympic gold. She again broke the world 3000m IP mark in qualifying with 3:26.4 and took almost two seconds off that, winning gold in 3:24.5. In the course of two rides, she chopped six seconds off the world mark. Australian Katie Mactier and Dutch rider Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel took silver and bronze, also under the world mark in a high quality event. After a stint of road racing, Ulmer retired from cycling in 2007.
34) Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell (2004, Athens, rowing double scull)
The identical Hawkes Bay twins first made their mark on the world stage in 2001, when they won a silver medal at the world championships. That was followed by back-to-back world golds, the first two of three they would win, so when they arrived in Athens they were warm favourites. The competition as such that they had to row only twice. They won their heat by four seconds from Britons Elise Laverick and Sarah Wincklow, and in the final lead from the 500m to win in 7min 01.79s. Germans Britta Oppelt and Peggy Waleska took silver .99s back with the Brits winning bronze. It was to be a significantly different story four years later.