Exclusive: Peter Snell to donate medals, memorabilia to Te Papa

Exclusive: Peter Snell to donate medals, memorabilia to Te Papa

Double-Olympian Sir Peter Snell has told Story he will be donating his incredible collection of memorabilia to Te Papa Museum in Wellington.

Te Papa tried to buy Snell's singlet for $120,000, but it turned out it wasn't the real one. Now they'll be receiving his Olympic Gold medals, an award the Halberg statue was based on, and more.

Story travelled to Snell's home in Dallas, Texas, where he broke the news exclusively and said he feels his haul belongs to New Zealand anyway.

"New Zealand was where I did all sorts of things that made it possible."

Snell was stunned to hear the museum had tried to buy one of his singlets for $120,000 because he gave it away for free.

Snell hasn't lived in New Zealand for more than 40 years. He moved to the US to pursue an education and a career in sports medicine because even after retiring from a world-beating running career, he couldn't get a break at home.

"I sort of feel like New Zealand missed out and in a way I resented it early on that they were happy to miss out on what I had to offer. It was an ego thing."

Snell says getting over feeling unwanted took time but he's a peace with it now.

He represents one part of a golden age for New Zealand running Olympic achievements and next month, the latest crop of athletes will be doing all they can in their power to hit those same dizzying heights.

So what was Snell's best advice?

"Outside of the normal environment, you have to be careful, don't eat something that upsets you or the change in routine can affect some people.

He says the Olympic arena has its own special pressure many people cannot handle so you have to play down the tendency to be over reactive.

They're simple but effective tips which helped him win gold in both Rome and Tokyo and not to mention the Commonwealth Games too.

Soon, Kiwis will be able to see what that success looks like on display at Te Papa.