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District to welcome home Winter Olympic heroes

District to welcome home Winter Olympic heroes

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is encouraging members of the public to show their support for the returning New Zealand Winter Olympic team at a special event in Wanaka this Thursday.

Members of the team including Wanaka-based bronze medal winners Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous returned from the Games in South Korea today and are spending the night in Auckland before flying south.

The public celebration takes place in Wanaka on Thursday afternoon, beginning with a street parade.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said everyone was welcome to join in the celebrations.

“The parade is straight after school so we’d love as many people as possible, especially kids, to come along and show their support for our inspirational young athletes,” said Mayor Boult.

“Of course behind individual brilliance is a huge team effort. On behalf of the whole district I would like to congratulate Zoi and Nico for their awe-inspiring performances as well as all the other athletes – some of whom came so close to Olympic medals – coaches, support staff, friends and families who have contributed to a wonderful team performance.

“It was clear from the TV coverage how much New Zealand athletes are liked and respected by their fellow competitors from around the world. I think that says a lot about our country in general and this region in particular where so many of them live and train. Ka pai to everyone at Snow Sports NZ, High Performance Sport NZ, Winter Games NZ, the NZ Olympic Committee and our world-class ski fields. Welcome home!”

The street parade leaves the Lake Wanaka Centre at 3.30pm and travels a circuit along Ardmore Street, Dungarvon Street, Brownston Street and Helwick Street before ending at the Cardrona office at the corner of Helwick Street and Dunmore Street.

The athletes will remain at the Cardrona office to meet members of the community, sign autographs and show off New Zealand’s first Winter Olympic medals since 1992.

Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod will present flowers to Zoi and Nico on their arrival at Queenstown Airport tomorrow and say a few words of thanks on behalf of the community ahead of the main event on Thursday.

QLDC anticipates a large number of spectators at the Wanaka street parade. It is encouraging people to allow extra time for their journey, leave their cars at home and walk or bike into town instead.


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