Rob Waddell named NZ's new chef de mission

Last updated 10:26 14/12/2012
Rob Waddell
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ
NEW MAN IN CHARGE: Rob Waddell has become New Zealand's 18th Olympic chef de mission, replacing outgoing Dave Currie.

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Rob Waddell has been named as the New Zealand Olympic Committee's new chef de mission.

He replaces Dave Currie, who struggled to contain a media storm around Valerie Adams at the 2012 London Olympics.  Waddell won rowing gold at the 2000 Sydney Games and said the position was a "unique opportunity."

"It's a unique position and I'm honoured to have been appointed."

"We've just come off the back of our most successful Olympic Games ever and I'm determined that continues.

"I've been to three Olympic Games and experienced them not just as a successful gold medal winner but also as a wide-eyed first-timer and again as an athlete struggling to meet expectations. That broad perspective will help better understand our top athletes."

Secretary general Kereyn Smith said the NZOC was delighted to appoint Waddell.

"Rob has what it takes to make sure the environment is right for athletes to achieve at Olympic Games," Smith said.

"He knows sport and the needs of elite athletes, is highly respected and sets a clear standard of excellence. He also has as strong focus on the benefits of sport to the community. We're thrilled to welcome him to the team."

Waddell is currently a senior member of Team New Zealand, vice-chair (former chair) of the Home of Cycling Trust and co-owner of a family business.

High Performance Sport New Zealand chief executive Alex Baumann said he was confident in Waddell's ability to deliver. 

"Rob has a depth of understanding and experience across high performance sport. He's known for his commitment to excellence and we look forward to a strong partnership with him as we plan for Rio 2016," Baumann said.

As chef de mission, Waddell will lead the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams. He will be responsible for setting standards of excellence, overseeing the planning and preparation of the games management teams and ensuring the athletes and their national sports organisations have what they need to achieve within the complex Olympic and Commonwealth Games environments.

Waddell will be New Zealand's 18th chef de mission for the Summer Olympic Games. Sir Arthur Porritt (1924 Paris and 1936 Berlin) was New Zealand's first chef de mission.

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- Fairfax Media

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