Dan Carter, Ross Taylor and Grant Dalton weigh in on New Zealand’s sporting dominance

"New Zealand mate, that's where the All Blacks are from."
"New Zealand mate, that's where the All Blacks are from." Photo credit: Getty Images.

New Zealand’s sporting success has been put under the spotlight in a feature article sure to garner worldwide attention.

The article, published to CNN.com, draws attention to New Zealand’s sporting excellence and seeks to understand why we ‘punch above our weight’ in the sporting arena. 

In addition to success in the America’s Cup and the Rugby World Cup, the article notes New Zealand's enviable record at the last Summer Olympics where we won 18 medals, four of those gold, making us the third most successful nation based on medals per capita.

Dan Carter, Ross Taylor and  Grant Dalton are among the sporting legends interviewed by CNN for the piece. 

Dalton says New Zealand’s sporting dominance was what New Zealand was known for internationally. 

"When you go through immigration at Heathrow or JFK or LA, or whatever, they say, 'Where are you from?' You just put your passport down and say, 'New Zealand mate, that's where the All Blacks are from,'" he explained. 

"There's a sense of pride that you have with that and that resonates itself throughout the country. Wearing the pride of the nation through the sport on your sleeve because we're not a superpower, granted we have great rivers and mountains, but our sport is our passion and our success" Dalton says.

The article notes the high participation rate of young Kiwis in sports, suggesting that might have something to do with our impressive world record.

Black Cap Ross Taylor agrees the culture of sporting success is fostered as a kid. 

"You're encouraged to get into it and try a few sports not just one," Taylor said.

"I played hockey and cricket was my main one but you played rugby, touch, netball, basketball, all those sports are encouraged to get in there and my kids are no different. They try and get out there and explore and have a bit of fun as well.

"Obviously, playing sport all year round, they all compliment each other very well and I guess the fitness as well, that component of it."

Former All Black Dan Carter told CNN he thought rugby was more than a game but rather had the status of 'a religion in New Zealand'. 

"You're wanting to do the history proud, the public proud and you make sure you do everything you possibly can for that little country down at the bottom of the world."

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