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14 December 2019

Tribute to Sir Peter Snell

HPSNZ is saddened by the news of the passing of sporting legend, Sir Peter Snell. In Snell, New Zealand found a sporting hero.

Winner of three Olympic gold medals and two British Empire and Commonwealth Games medals, Snell emerged at the age of just 21 to become one of the most celebrated runners of the time, breaking numerous world records.

As an individual, he was a natural sportsman, with tennis his first love. He played many sports and loved to compete. Later in life he became an active orienteer, winning his age category (65 and over) in the 2003 United States Orienteering Championship. He also became an avid table tennis player, competing in the World Masters Games 2017 in Auckland.

Snell was named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year twice (1960 and 1964) and in 2000 was named New Zealand’s Sports Champion of the 20th Century. He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport, becoming Sir Peter Snell in 2009 (KNZM).

Sir Peter followed a career in sport in the US and in 2007 was awarded an honorary doctorate (DSc) by Massey University in recognition of his work as an exercise physiologist.

We celebrate his exceptional contribution to New Zealand sport and send condolences to his family.


Photo Credit: PhotoSport