Commonwealth Games: New Zealand athletes receive heroes' homecoming in Auckland

  • 17/04/2018

New Zealand's Commonwealth Games team have received a heroes' welcome after arriving back in the country last night.

Their tally of 46 medals, including 15 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze was a record haul on foreign soil, and the late night faithful sounded their appreciation.

Shot put silver medallist Dame Valarie Adams said she was happy to be back in New Zealand, and hopes to continue to be a source of inspiration for women.

"It's amazing to be back in New Zealand, it's always good to come back home after a championship like this," she told Newshub.

"It's good to celebrate with the team and have the homecoming here tonight.

"I want to encourage females out there and women out there who feel like they can't do both and it's possible to do both.

"If you have a good support crew around you and in fact tonight, I've spoken to a couple who are thinking of trying to have a baby and then actually come back.

"I'm just letting them know that It's not the end of your career just because you have a child and it's just not and it's part of the journey of life and it is possible; six months I'm here today, celebrating and have a good old time so big ups to everybody who wants to give it a good crack."

Her appreciation was echoed by gold-medal winning weightlifter David Liti, who received a haka performed by students from his old school, One Tree College.

Commonwealth Games: New Zealand athletes receive heroes' homecoming in Auckland
Photo credit: Newshub

Liti was also the surprise winner of the prestigious David Dixon award for sportsmanship, and admits the last two weeks has been surreal.

"It's been unreal really, I never really expected this whole thing to happen and just for it to come through and the world to see what New Zealanders are like; I'm honoured to represent everybody," he told Newshub.

Rob Waddell of the New Zealand Olympic Committee was particularly impressed with the success on the Games' final day of competition.

"It's really nice to be back, it's been a busy month, five weeks for us," he told Newshub.

"We as the organising committee, we go over the earlier and try and set everything up to make sure everything is working okay."

"To come back off the back of the results we've had in the last few days has been a real highlight.

"You can't single out results; I guess the teams have had a great Games, the sevens, the hockey, the basketball, some really good results there, so, thrilled to see that and just the excitement its generated amongst the team."