Ahead of a nationwide tour, five-time Paralympic medallist Adam Hall reflected on the challenges and successes from the recent Winter Games in Beijing.
Hall, who has attended five Paralympics, said this year was different.
Due to Covid protocols, athletes were only allowed to travel between their accommodation and on-snow training.
Limitations such as wearing masks presented new challenges for athletes compared with previous Games too.
“Protocols during it were like Level 4 restrictions the whole time,” Hall said.
With families unable to travel to Beijing with the team, Hall was thrilled to know of the local support.
A fanzone was set up at Apres by Cardrona where family and locals could watch live.
“The coverage back here was spectacular,” he said.
The local support is set to continue on May 22, with a parade being held in Wanaka to highlight the sporting excellence from the past six months.
For many athletes in the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Covid restrictions and swift departures following the closing ceremony meant they did not have time to celebrate their achievements.
Hall said this parade would be an opportunity to reflect on what can be achieved regardless of circumstances.
The collective snow sport teams have surpassed records with 31 podium positions on a global stage.
Of those, 16 were gold medals and top spots in international competition.
“With these historic results, especially with the challenges, just shows the talent that we have here,” Hall said.
After the Wanaka parade, Hall will join fellow athletes Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Nico Porteous and Corey Peters on a nationwide tour to continue the celebrations.