Former Olympic gold medallist Rob Waddell has been named
as New Zealand Olympic Committee Chef de Mission, taking over
from Dave Currie who stepped down after the London Games.
Waddell is a two-time world champion and won gold in the
single sculls at Sydney in 2000. More recently he's been a
grinder on Team New Zealand and his role with the NZOC won't
interfere with that. He's also vice-chairman (formerly
chairman) of the Home of Cycling Trust and co-owner of a
Waddell is understood to have been shortlisted with fellow
Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter and former netballer
Tracy Fear. Fear took herself out of the running when she
took a job with NSW netball.
He was selected by a panel comprising Olympic athletes, an
Olympic coach and representatives of the New Zealand Olympic
Committee and HPSNZ.
Currie was Chef de Mission for three Olympics (2004, 2008,
2012) and three Commonwealth Games (2002, 2006, 2010) as well
as the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney.
"It's a unique position and I'm honoured to have been
appointed," Waddell said. "We've just come off the back of
our most successful Olympic Games ever and I'm determined
"I've been to three Olympic Games and experienced them not
just as a successful gold medal winner but also as a
wide-eyed first-timer and again as an athlete struggling to
meet expectations. That broad perspective will help better
understand our top athletes."
NZOC secretary general Kereyn Smith was delighted with
"Rob has what it takes to make sure the environment is right
for athletes to achieve at Olympic Games," she said. "He
knows sport and the needs of elite athletes, is highly
respected and sets a clear standard of excellence. He also
has as strong focus on the benefits of sport to the
community. We're thrilled to welcome him to the team."
Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton also
congratulated Waddell. "We're delighted for Rob. He is an
outstanding individual and is ideally suited to the position.
He commands respect and is a brilliant team player."
Waddell will be New Zealand's 18th Chef de Mission for the
Summer Olympic Games. Sir Arthur Porritt (1924 Paris and 1936
Berlin) was New Zealand's first Chef de Mission.