When New Zealand Olympic chief Mike Stanley was looking at photographs of the first team to represent the nation at a Games ahead of Friday's centenary, the one thing that stood out for him was the silver fern badges on their kit. The split from fellow British Dominion Australia was sparked by the First World War, sports author and historian Ron Palenski said.
Violet Walrond overcame massive hurdles to become New Zealand's first female Olympian at the 1920 Olympics, but never really understood the significance of what she had done until late in her life, her nephew said. The 15-year-old schoolgirl swimmer was the youngest of the 65 female athletes at the Antwerp Games, the first time New Zealand had its own team at the Olympics after being part of an Australasia team in 1908 and 1912. The New Zealand team, made up of Walrond and three men, took nine weeks to get to Belgium, travelling by boat with stops in Australia and South Africa.
Isiah Thomas loved to play road games, and the ones he could have been part of in 1980 might have been unlike any other in his career. Much still gets made of how Thomas was famously left off the U.S. Olympic team - the first Dream Team - that won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with ease. Thomas, then a 19-year-old, would have been on that team.