Equestrians thankful for NZ support
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 4:02p.m.
By 3 News staff
New Zealand’s Olympic equestrian team returned to Auckland today to a welcoming party at their sponsor’s headquarters.
The bronze-winning team of Andrew Nicholson, Jonathan Paget, Caroline Powell, Jonelle Richards and Mark Todd arrived at Auckland Airport this morning before heading to the Bell Tea and Coffee offices in East Tamaki, where they received cheers from a waiting crowd and afternoon tea.
The team won the bronze medal for the three-day team event which involved dressage, cross country and jumping.
Great Britain claimed the silver medal and Germany won the gold.
Though based in the UK, Todd and the team have come out to see the New Zealand public for four days.
“This is a good chance for us to come back and meet the people and say thanks for all the support we’ve had leading up to the games,” Todd says. “It’s been tremendous.”
He has enjoyed representing New Zealand and winning the medal.
“It’s very special, it’s the first medal that we’ve one at any Olympics in equestrian for the last 12 years.”
Todd says he is keeping an open mind about whether he wants to go to Rio in 2016.
“If I’m still going in four years' time, and if I’ve got the right horse and if I feel I can be competitive, then I’d like to be there.”
Paget is proud of his medal but has not been wearing it lately because of the attention it attracts.
“I kept getting stopped and asked for a photo which is nice, but when you’re trying to get a drink from the bar it takes half an hour.”
Paget says he and the team appreciated the support from New Zealand.
“They were fantastic and that’s probably the biggest reason we’ve all decided to come back… we feel we need to after everything everyone’s done for us… so its great to come back.”
Watch the video for the full interviews.
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