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One of New Zealand’s greatest swimmers, Champion was the first New Zealander to win an Olympic gold medal - though he won it in the name of Australasia, the combined team that took part in the 1908 and 1912 Olympics.
The challenge, to be the first in recorded history, to swim Cook Strait was likened to other sporting challenges such as Roger Bannister’s first sub-four minute mile and Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest.
Dave Gerrard was a champion butterfly swimmer whose life has been inextricably linked with sport.
By the time she was 17, Philippa Gould’s swimming career was behind her but she’d already earned herself enduring fame in New Zealand sport.
The Commonwealth Games 200 metres backstroke champion in 1978, Hurring was denied a chance to extend his success to the Olympic arena by swimming’s withdrawal for political reasons from the Games in Moscow in 1980.
Duncan Laing’s sporting exploits began in Taranaki where he was a strong and effective surf lifesaver – he captained the New Zealand team against Australia - and was a lock for the provincial rugby team.
When the names of New Zealand's greatest Olympians are remembered, that of Danyon Loader is of the first rank.
She first made her mark on sport when she was 15 and swum Cook Strait. It was the first of many triumphs.
Anthony Mosse was the standardbearer for New Zealand swimming through the 1980s.
Rebecca Perrott was a champion swimmer, ranked with the best in the world, and has the unusual distinction of being the catalyst for the formation of the New Zealand Sports Foundation, the principal sports funding body.
Regarded as too slow to be a competitive pool swimmer, Rush turned to endurance swimming and became one of the best there has been.
Jean Stewart, who married champion swimmer Lincoln Hurring, was the outstanding New Zealand woman swimmer of the early 1950s.