Sir Peter Snell welcomes flag change

Sir Peter Snell welcomes flag change

Our country's greatest athlete, Sir Peter Snell, is encouraging New Zealand to change the flag.

The triple Olympic champion says he was proud to run under the New Zealand flag at the Rome and Tokyo Olympics but prefers one with a silver fern as a last expression of independence.

A resident in Dallas, Texas for more than 30 years, Sir Peter has sworn allegiance to the US flag, but says it's time for a change to the New Zealand flag.

"This is great opportunity for New Zealand to do something creative," he says.

The 76-year-old, like many Kiwis, is a keen gardener and loves his ferns.

He's retired now, has been fitted with a pacemaker and has had to slow down.

"My heart is weak. I have trouble doing any sustained exercise. Even at the airport, going up slopes and stairs, I get breathless doing that," he says.

"No running, no jogging, no cycling – no, no I just can't do it. That's all over."

But it hasn't stopped him having an opinion.

"I think it's probably time for the Union Jack to go," he says.

Despite his heart problems, and against doctor's orders, Sir Peter plans on getting back on his bike.

He's also hopeful he can return to New Zealand for one more visit, and that maybe by then we will have a new flag.

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