With the Tokyo 2020 Games only days away, we count down New Zealand's greatest Olympians. Today, we look at numbers 25 to 16.
25 - Alan Thompson
Gold: Kayaking, K-1 1000m, Los Angeles, 1984
Gold: Kayaking, K-4 1000m, Los Angeles, 1984
Alan Thompson was part of New Zealand's golden era of flatwater canoe racing in the 1980s. One of just 10 New Zealanders to have won two or more gold medals, Thompson and Grant Bramwell have perhaps lived in the shadows of their more well-known teammates, Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald.
After being part of a small New Zealand contingent at the boycott-affected 1980 Moscow Olympics, Thompson went on to become the first New Zealander to win a world championship medal in 1982, laying the platform for what was to come in Los Angeles two years later.
Thompson and his coach John Grant were disciples of the Lydiard training method - devised by running great Arthur Lydiard - adapting it to the needs of a kayakyer. The method was taken on board by the rest of the team, and by the time Thompson took the start line in the K-1 1000m at the 1984 Games, New Zealand had already won two gold medals on Lake Casitas.
Thompson dominated the field from the start, nosing in front by the 200-metre mark and completing a powerful display to win by almost a boat length. Hours later, he was back on the water with Ferguson, MacDonald and Bramwell in the K-4 1000m, their blades again slicing through the water to take the fourth gold medal of the regatta by a nose.
24 - Sir Russell Coutts
Gold: Sailing, Finn Open, Los Angeles, 1984
Russell Coutts ranks among the country's greatest Olympians, carving out a place in New Zealand Olympic history aged just 22 when he topped the podium in the Finn class at his first Games.
Coutts was brilliant throughout the regatta, recording finishes of 1-7-2-2-21-3-5, but what made his victory so memorable were the multiple dramas that played out at the event.
For a few days in the summer of 1984, Coutts had the most talked about rear end on Long Beach, California.
Over the course of the regatta he developed painful boils on his bottom - not a great experience, you would imagine, while engaged in a sport where you're often sitting in the wet, with salt literally being rubbed into your wounds.
The unfortunate affliction had become a daily topic as the world's media focused on the tight battle for gold that was developing between the young New Zealander and hometown favourite John Bertrand (not to be confused with the Australian sailing great of the same name).
Coutts was in bad shape by the final race, wearing nappies to provide extra padding and to lessen the discomfort.
Needing to finish ahead of Bertrand in the final race to secure the gold medal, the young Kiwi, who was barely rated a chance among his heavyweight competitors in the lead-up to the Olympics, showed incredible resilience and composure to get the job done on the final day, finishing three places ahead of the American.
Moments after a triumphant Coutts was carried onto the beach in his boat by his Kiwi teammates, he was singled out for a "random" weight check of his gear. Some conspiracy theories suggest disgruntled local organisers were behind the move, but whatever the reason, Coutts endured a nervous wait for confirmation of his win.
The first weigh-in put Coutts' gear over the 20kg limit, and his medal in instant jeopardy. A second weigh-in was requested, but the result was the same. Finally, Coutts asked that the items be weighed individually - the total came back at a smidge over 19kg and New Zealand's first Olympic gold in a single-handed class was confirmed.
In his typical understated manner, Coutts summed up the moment: "That was a bit close ... I'm sure pleased that is over."
23 - 1976 men's hockey team
Gold: Men's hockey, Montreal 1976
The men's hockey team of 1976 certainly had an everyman feel.
Some were top academics, others became successful businessmen, but all are the sort of guys you'd stop and have a yarn to in the street and certainly ones you'd buy a beer for, particularly once you realised exactly who they were and what they'd achieved.
It's the underdog tale that New Zealanders love, the one that lends itself to hackneyed phrases like "put us on the map" and "punching above our weight", but somehow they seem okay in this instance.
From the heroic deeds of goalkeeper Trevor Manning, who played on in the final with a smashed kneecap, to the missed penalty stroke by the young tyro Ramesh Patel and ultimately Tony Ineson's match-winning goal, it remains the seminal moment in New Zealand hockey history.
Yet, while the team itself went to Montreal thinking they had a good chance, no one here really thought so.
Television New Zealand had only booked three live satellite slots for the entire Games - the opening ceremony, John Walker's 1500 metres final and the 5000 metres featuring Rod Dixon and Dick Quax.
And after New Zealand's 5-2 loss to Pakistan to start the hockey tournament there was little to suggest that was the wrong call.
However, New Zealand ground their way through group play with two draws and a win, beat Spain in a playoff and then upset the hockey powerhouse Netherlands to reach the final against Australia.
New Zealand hadn't beaten Australia in 13 meetings, but one win is all it took for 16 men to be etched collectively among our greatest Olympians.
22 - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie
Gold: Sailing, 470s, 2012
Silver: Sailing, 470s, 2016
The duo that made up Team Jolly brought some long-awaited golden joy to the sailing community with their success at the 2012 Olympics. It was New Zealand's first gold outside of boardsailing since 1984.
In London, the pair went into the medal race locked on equal points with Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark and, with a big gap to the Netherlands in third, were guaranteed at least a silver medal.
It meant the double points medal race for the top-10 boats came down to a head-to-head battle between the two crews. It didn't matter if they finished ninth and 10th. Whoever crossed the line first won gold.
Aleh, 26, and Powrie, 24, made no race of it. Not only did they beat the British crew, who were ninth, but they also won the race in emphatic fashion to stamp their mark on the regatta.
Four years later by their own admission, they sailed better and fought harder to earn silver. Following a second disqualification in race six, they slipped to seventh and all hopes of a medal seemed gone (or at least that's what the Herald reported at the time, which we regret). They then rattled off two wins, a third and a fourth and finish behind British pair Mills and Clark.
21 - Hamish Carter
Gold: Triathlon, Athens, 2004
After a poor showing at the Sydney Olympics when he was rated as a favourite, Carter earned selection for the 2004 Olympics, but by then he was no longer the New Zealand triathlon king - that crown had been passed to Bevan Docherty, who was world champion at the time.
Carter was still considered a chance in Athens, but Docherty carried most New Zealand hopes.
It looked like the Kiwis were in for another day of disappointment when Carter emerged from the water in 33rd position and Docherty 17th.
But the gruelling, hilly bike course proved perfectly suited to the Kiwi pair, with both finding themselves in the leading bunch of six. The steep climbs severely tested the riders, but Carter seemed to do it comfortably, dancing his way up the hill.
Finally, with 1km remaining in the run, the New Zealanders opened the throttle and the rest of the field could not respond. Carter and Docherty had the gold and silver to themselves. It was a spine-tingling moment. Now it was just a matter of who would win.
Most money would have been on Docherty. He was younger - 27 to Carter's 33 - and his recent results were better. But Carter picked this day, after a 12-year international career, to have the race of his life.
20 - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
Gold: Sailing, 49er, Rio, 2016
Silver: Sailing, 49er, London, 2012
They are now known as America's Cup heroes but like many sailing greats it was at the Olympics where the 49er duo made their name. They formed their pairing in 2008 soon after the Beijing Olympics, when they were taking their first steps in the 49er class, trying to master the difficult skiff on the Hauraki Gulf.
After capsizing in strong winds, the teenagers spent some time sorting out their sails. Someone in the hills above the eastern beaches had spotted the pair, which eventually prompted a courtesy call by a passing ferry.
The 49er class was a daunting proposition, and it was slow progress, but eventually the pairing turned to silver and gold.
Their silver in London, behind Aussie duo Nathan Outterridge and Iain Jensen, broke a 20-year dearth of podium finishes in yachting, outside of men's and women's windsurfing. They then took over the event, winning six successive 49er world championship triumphs along with Olympic gold in Rio.
They dominated the 2016 field to secure gold with a race to spare. They went ahead and won the final race anyway.
19 - Blyth Tait
Gold: Individual eventing, Atlanta, 1996
Silver: Team eventing, Barcelona, 1992
Bronze: Individual eventing, Barcelona, 1992
Bronze: Team evening, Atlanta, 1996
While one name undoubtedly stands atop the list of New Zealand's great three-day eventers, there is another not far behind him.
Sir Mark Todd may be the greatest rider of the 20th century, but his long-time teammate Blyth Tait has a resume that's almost without peer globally. That's why he is thoroughly deserving of his place in the top 20 of our greatest Olympians.
Team silver and individual bronze in 1992 were followed by team bronze and individual gold in Atlanta 1996.
And that's just at the Olympics. Tait has also won four world championships gold medals in team and individual competition, the Burghley horse trials twice and the prestigious Kentucky four-star event. Badminton is the only major trophy to elude him.
But those Games 25 years ago were Tait's crowning glory. Riding Ready Teddy, the little chestnut who could (and who, incidentally, has his own Wikipedia page), Tait led New Zealand's dominance at the Georgia International Horse Park, which also saw Sally Clark take silver and the team of Tait, Clark, Vaughn Jefferis and Andrew Nicholson win bronze.
Tait and Ready Teddy were initially named as reserves in the New Zealand team, but an injury to Todd's mount saw them elevated to the competing group of four.
As was often the case with Kiwi eventers, Tait surged into the lead with an outstanding cross-country round, giving himself a rail to spare heading into the showjumping.
He didn't need it, going clear and inside the time limit to restore New Zealand's place at the top of the eventing world.
Tait competed in a further two Olympics, but didn't enjoy the same success. Named flag-bearer for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, both his mounts were forced out lame while in his final Games, in Athens 2004, Tait was 18th individually and the New Zealand team fifth overall.
He's one of just four Kiwis to have won four Olympic medals, while the list of accolades is a sign of his status in the Olympic community.
18 - The 1972 rowing eight
Gold: Rowing eight, Munich, 1972
How you rank New Zealand's gold medal performances is a subjective business, but in one respect the rowing eight's victory on the Feldmoching course stands alone.
Not so much for what happened on the water, as the eight produced a stellar performance to dominate their final, but what transpired after the race.
A year earlier, New Zealand had won the European title, which was effectively a world championship. Some of those rowers will privately argue that was a finer display than they achieved in Munich, but then again Olympic success has an extra cache attached to it.
The eight included old sweats such as Wybo Veldman and John Hunter, who had been in the eight beaten into fourth by 1.3s by the Soviet Union four years earlier.
"We were hot favourites but the wheels fell off," Veldman recalls. "We should have won it, finished fourth, got nothing, a terrible experience."
They vowed it wouldn't happen next time.
Dick Joyce, who had won gold in the coxed four at Mexico, also in 1968, was in the eight too.
That European championship win told the New Zealanders plenty. They beat the East Germans by .42s with the old USSR six seconds back in third.
"The critics said 'you'll never do it twice in a row'," Veldman said. "But they (East Germany) panicked and changed their crew. I think that 1971 (East German) crew was better than 1972."
New Zealand had an unchanged eight from 1971, including cox Simon Dickie.
They bossed the final, a length clear at halfway and the win was never in doubt. They clocked 6min 08.94s, almost three seconds ahead of the United States, with East Germany fractions of a second back in third.
Satisfaction was immense. Then a special moment.
They stood on the dais to receive their medals from International Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage, a staunch defender of the amateur ethos, who saw the embodiment of that philosophy in the New Zealanders.
The national anthems followed and, for the first time in Olympic history, the strains of God Defend New Zealand rather than God Save the Queen rang out.
"We were bawling like babies," Veldman said. "Totally unexpected. Awesome."
17 - Ted Morgan
Gold: Boxing, Welterweight, Amsterdam 1928
With due respect to Malcolm Champion, Wellington boxer Ted Morgan deserves to be known as the first purely New Zealand Olympic gold medallist.
Champion's swimming gold 16 years earlier came as part of an Australasian quartet.
Morgan's is a story of courage and skill producing an ultimate reward.
Born in London, Morgan came to New Zealand with his family aged one. They settled in Wellington and after Wellington College, Morgan worked as a plumber. Pictures of him at the time show a lean man with an optimistic grin.
When he won his place for Amsterdam, Morgan, who stood 1.72m, was to fight in the lightweight division, but put on weight on the long sea voyage and turned up three pounds over the limit. That meant stepping up to welterweight, where he was forced to give up several pounds to his opponents.
Undaunted, the man who was New Zealand's amateur lightweight champion in 1925 and 1927 determined not to be undone by that handicap. A southpaw - that is, leading with his right hand - Morgan had the reputation of a boxer who applied an offensive game plan, going after opponents and forcing mistakes.
He had a further setback a week before the tournament began when he dislocated a knuckle on his left hand while sparring.
He knocked out his first opponent, Swede Selfrid Johannson, in the second round; then beat Italian Romano Canova comfortably on points, despite copping several head butts and finishing the fight with a black eye.
In the semifinals, he won a points victory over favourite Rene Catalaud of France.
Fighting for gold against experienced Argentine Paul Landini, Morgan's hand by this time was badly damaged, making punching effectively a painful business.
He could not straighten his left hand, but he dug deep and won a unanimous points decision, one English writer labelling him the "best boxer at the Games".
Morgan returned home in triumph, but after winning 26 of 28 amateur bouts, he turned pro in 1929. It wasn't a success - he won only 13 of 26 bouts before retiring in October 1934.
Morgan married twice. His first wife, Norma Wilson, was a sprinter in the 1928 Games team. He was a non-smoker and his death in 1952 at only 46 was attributed to inhalation of fumes while working as a plumber.
He remains New Zealand's only Olympic boxing gold medallist.
16 - Paul MacDonald
Gold: K-4 1000, Los Angeles, 1984
Gold: K-2 500, Los Angeles, 1984
Gold: K-2 500, Seoul, 1988
Silver: K-2 1000, Seoul, 1988
Bronze: K-1 500, Seoul, 1988
Paul MacDonald is half of the most successful team in New Zealand's Olympic history.
While overshadowed by Ian Ferguson for much of his kayaking career, MacDonald sits alongside his senior teammate with five Olympic medals - no New Zealander has more. His three Olympic gold medals are second only to Ferguson and equal the number won by Sir Peter Snell.
MacDonald won his first two medals at the 1984 Olympics in the absence of some of his major rivals, after most of the Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the Los Angeles Games.
After Ferguson started kayaking's gold medal splurge by winning the K1-500 he teamed up with MacDonald to comfortably win the K-2 500. They finished almost a length clear of crews from Sweden and Canada.
The next day Ferguson and MacDonald wrapped up New Zealand's golden haul on Lake Casitas by winning the K-4 1000 with Grant Bramwell and Alan Thompson, who also won gold in the K-1 1000. The quartet finished just half a second ahead of the Swedish combination, with France a further second back in third.
MacDonald got a chance to step out from Ferguson's shadow after the LA Games. He won gold in the K-1 500 at the 1987 world championships in Duisberg, Germany, earning the right to compete in the boat at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Having led the final at the 250m mark, MacDonald faded and had to settle for bronze, missing out on silver by just .08s.
Hours later, Ferg and Macca, as they were now known, won their third Olympic gold together. Having proven they could beat the top Eastern Bloc crews at the world championships, they held off the Soviet Union combination of Igor Nagaev and Viktor Denisov by .17s in the final of the K-2 500.
They returned the next day to claim their final Olympic medal together, silver in the K-2 1000. They missed out on another gold by little over quarter of a second.
While now in the twilight of their partnership, Ferg and Macca attended one more Olympics together, the Barcelona Games in 1992. They managed to record their best time in the K-2 1000 and made the final, a feat that wasn't achieved by a New Zealand kayaking crew for another 12 years, when Ferguson's son Steven and Ben Fouhy returned the black paddles to the Olympic stage in Athens.