Special Olympics New Zealand’s World Winter Games team returned home triumphant with 18 medals, and nine placement ribbons after a week of competition in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The team of 10 athletes, who all have an intellectual disability, competed in a series of Alpine skiing and snowboarding courses against 2,300 other athletes from around the world.
Despite fierce competition, difficult snow conditions, a gastro-flu that swept through the New Zealand camp, and injury, the New Zealand athletes achieved sensational results. (See full results)
The 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games were the sixth Winter Games Special Olympics New Zealand had attended. More than 14,900 people attended the Games including 2,300 athletes, 1,300 families, 1000 media, 1,500 VIP, and 7,800 operating officials.
Special Olympics New Zealand was also represented in the Law Enforcement Torch Run by one of its Board Members, Constable Stew Hewett, and Special Olympics World Winter Games medalist and Global Messenger Thomas van der Lugt (one of just eight athletes chosen worldwide to take part).
The run started on 23 January 2013 with 133 people running two separate routes from Seoul to PyeongChang, visiting 40 destinations along the way. Stew and Thomas also took part in the ‘Polar Plunge’ fundraiser. The events raised more than $US115,000 for Special Olympics.
Watch the team's arrival home on TV3
Special Olympics New Zealand's impressive entry to the Opening Ceremony
Read Brian Benn's (Head of Delegation) daily blog
View team results
View photos from the Games
Read Press releases
Meet the team
View photos and video from the Closing Ceremony