New Zealand at the 1920 Summer Olympics

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New Zealand at the
1920 Summer Olympics
Flag of New Zealand.svg
NOCOlympic Council of New Zealand
in Antwerp
Competitors4 in 3 sports
Flag bearerHarry Wilson (athlete)
Ranked 22nd
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
 Australasia (1908 · 1912)

New Zealand competed at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It was the first time that the nation had competed independently at the Olympic Games (even though the International Olympic Committee had a New Zealand member – Leonard Cuff – at its establishment). At the 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympics, New Zealand had competed with Australia in a combined team called Australasia.

The New Zealand team consisted of four competitors including the first woman to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games, Violet Walrond who was only aged 15 at the time. The team can be considered one of the most successful ever as all team members finished fifth or better in at least one of their events. The opening flagbearer was hurdler Harry Wilson. Walrond's father Cecil, generally known as Tui Walrond, was both her chaperone and also the unofficial trainer for the New Zealand team.[1][2]


Medal Name Sport Event
 Bronze Darcy Hadfield Rowing Men's single sculls


Two athletes represented New Zealand in the nation's independent Olympic debut in 1920. The two men advanced to the final in two of their three events, placing fourth and fifth.

Athlete Event Heats Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Result Rank[i] Result Rank[i] Result Rank[i] Result Rank
George Davidson 100 m 11.1 2 Q Unknown 3 Did not advance
200 m 22.6 1 Q 22.8 1 Q 22.7 3 Q 22.3 5
Harry Wilson 110 m hurdles N/A 15.8 2 Q 15.3 3 Q 15.2 4
  1. ^ a b c Ranks given are within each individual heat, quarterfinal or semifinal


Back row from left: Tui and Violet Walrond, George Davidson; front: Harry Wilson and Darcy Hadfield

A single rower represented New Zealand in 1920. It was the nation's debut in the sport. Hadfield was defeated in the semifinals of the single sculls, but took the bronze medal as the faster losing semifinalist.[3]

Athlete Event Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Darcy Hadfield Single sculls 8:05.0 1 Q 7:49.2 2 Did not race 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)


A single swimmer represented New Zealand in 1920. It was the nation's debut in the sport as well as its first independent appearance at the Olympics. Walrond was the first woman from New Zealand to compete in the Olympics.

Swimmer Event Semifinals Final
Result Rank[i] Result Rank
Violet Walrond Women's 100 m freestyle 1:21.4 3 q Unknown 5
Women's 300 m freestyle 5:04.6 2 Q Unknown 7
  1. ^ Ranks given are within the semifinal


  1. ^ "Birth of an Olympic rowing tradition". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Violet Walrond, our first female Olympian". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  3. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games: Men's Single Sculls Semi-Finals". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2016.

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