Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Kiwis close out historic golden haul to complete most successful Games

As the Commonwealth Games draw to a close at Birmingham, the Kiwis are celebrating a record breaking haul of 19 gold medals - and counting.

The NZ athletes have drawn motivation from each other's success, and while it hasn't been a golden run for everyone, being part of the nation's most successful Games team has proven to be a golden experience in itself. 

The class of 2022 have proven exceptional, and it was only fitting cyclist Aaron Gate's fourth gold medal on Tuesday (NZ time) set the new benchmark.

"To be a part of that - well, can't complain," said Gate.

Over the past 10 days, Kiwi athletes have featured on the podium 48 times.

"Just extreme happiness is the feeling I've got right now," said Silver Ferns captain Gina Crampton, after the netballers claimed bronze.

It’s no wonder the fans have been out in force, after two weeks of heart thumping, blood pumping, fist bumping Kiwi-dom.

"To be the first women's cricket team to win a bronze medal, that's certainly something we will celebrate," said captain Sophie Devine, as the White Ferns crushed England in their bronze-medal playoff.

This NZ team boasts the most successful track cycling team and most successful swim squad in the country's Commonwealth Games history - the best Kiwi team of all time.

The medal momentum was contagious and rose golds were netted with relief.

"Bronze feels better than fourth," said Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua.

We bowled our way to bronze on the lawn and batted our way to it on the pitch. 

But as the happy tears have flowed, so too have the tough ones. Just ask the Black Ferns Sevens and the Black Sticks Women.

"We're gutted because we wanted to take something back to share with the team as well," said Black Sticks coach Darren Smith, after his team were denied bronze in a heartbreaking penalty shootout against India.

But through it all - our athletes have stood tall together. 

"I think it's unlike anywhere else in the world," said volleyballer Shaunna Polley, after defeat against Vanuatu to miss bronze. "We know that even though today didn't go our way, we will still be supported."

The Commonwealth has been treated to a masterclass in what it is to be Kiwi - playing fair with hearts on their sleeves and silver ferns on their hearts.