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The Sport and Recreation Minister Clayton Cosgrove has this morning joined the rest of the country in welcoming home the New Zealand Olympic team after its highly successful Beijing campaign.
Mr Cosgrove was on the flight from Beijing carrying New Zealand’s Olympic athletes and officials that touched down in Auckland this morning.
Mr Cosgrove said it was an honour to accompany the team home.
“I am sure I speak for all New Zealanders when I say that we are fiercely proud of our Olympic team,” he said. “Our Olympians can hold their heads high having provided the best overall result in 20 years by bringing home three golds, one silver and five bronze medals. There were 26 top-eight placings from 9 different sports. And there were also many new personal bests, including New Zealand’s men’s cycling pursuit team breaking the four minute barrier, and our swimmers setting new, New Zealand records.
“These athletes are an inspiration to our nation-hood and to our place in the world as proud kiwis. Their performance at these Games will serve as an inspiration to other New Zealanders to get out there and get involved in sport and recreation.”
Mr Cosgrove said the magnificent achievements of our athletes were a reward for their skill, talent and years of hard work, and they should now savour this special time before looking to the next big challenges of Delhi 2010 and London 2012.