Topics: Sevens, Rugby

Māori athletes competing at the Rio Olympics 2016

By Aroha Mane

The official opening ceremony for the 31st Olympic Games in Rio took place at the Maracana stadium 11:00am this morning New Zealand Time (NZT). Over 200 athletes and officials have been selected to represent Aotearoa at this year’s Olympic Games, of those athletes, 50 are of Māori descent.

This list includes the recent addition of former All Black Liam Messam (Ngāi Tūhoe), who was given the late call-up by New Zealand Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens after it was announced Teddy Stanaway was injured in a warm-up match.

Last Wednesday Messam posted on Twitter, “On my way to Rio to keep my bro @teddystanaway company. Thanks to the crew @ebbttvw for their support and getting me to Auckland Airport.”

On Thursday (NZT), two days before the opening ceremony, the first of New Zealand’s Māori athletes Abby Erceg (Ngāpuhi), Amber Hearn (Ngāpuhi) and Rebecca Rolls (Ngāti Porou) took the field with the Football Ferns against the World Champions, USA. The Ferns lost their match 2-0 but are hopeful to make a comeback when they take on Colombia tomorrow at 11:00am (NZT).

Our Australian neighbours will also feature a number of Māori athletes, which includes  Sevens men’s representative Jesse Parahi (Ngāti Kahungunu), Sevens women’s representative Amy Turner (Tainui), and swimmer Kotuku Ngawati (Ngāpuhi).

Rounding out the impressive list of Māori at these Olympic games is the USA women's 7's head coach Richie Walker (Ngāti Porou).

The flag bearers nominated to lead our New Zealand team in the opening ceremony this morning are co-captains Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from the sailing team. Both have been adorned with traditional korowai for the ceremony.

Māori Athletes from the 2016 New Zealand Olympic Team


  1. Lisa Carrington – Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki
  2. Jamie Lovett – Ngāti Raukawa
  3. Kayla Imrie – Te Whakatōhea


  1. Samuel Gaze – Te Atiawa
  2. Dylan Kennett - Ngāi Tahu
  3. Pieter Bulling – Ngāi Tahu


  1. Abby Erceg (captain) – Ngāpuhi
  2. Amber Hearn – Ngāpuhi
  3. Rebecca Rolls - Ngāti Porou
  4. Kristy Yallop - TBC
  5. Paige Satchell (reserve) – Ngāpuhi


  1. Courtney McGregor – Ngāti Kahungunu


  1. Darcina-Rose Manuel – Ngāti Porou


  1. Kayla Whitelock - Rangitāne
  2. Gemma Flynn – Te Arawa, Tainui
  3. Charlotte Harrison – Ngāpuhi


  1. Blair Hilton – Ngāpuhi
  2. Kane Russel – Ngāpuhi


  1. Michael Brake - Ngāti Porou
  2. Caleb Shepherd – Ngāti Porou
  3. Jade Uru – Ngāi Tahu


  1. Paul Snow-Hansen - Ngāpuhi


  1. Akira Ioane –Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāpuhi
  2. Rieko Ioane –Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāpuhi
  3. Gillies Kaka - Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Arawa
  4. Regan Ware – Ngāti Toa
  5. Sam Dickson – Ngāi Tahu
  6. Joe Webber – Ngāi Tahu
  7. Teddy Stanaway – Ngāti Tūwharetoa
  8. Liam Messam – Ngāi Tūhoe
  9. Lewis Ormond (reserve)– Ngāti Kahungunu


  1. Sarah Goss – Ngāti Kahungunu
  2. Shakira Baker – Ngāti Kahungunu
  3. Gayle Broughton - Ngāti Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui
  4. Huriana Manuel – Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
  5. Kayla McAlister - Te Atiawa
  6. Tyla Nathan-Wong – Ngāpuhi
  7. Portia Woodman - Ngāpuhi
  8. Terina Te Tamaki – Te Arawa, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto
  9. Rugby Tui – Ngāi Tahu
  10. Shiray Tane (reserve) – Ngāti Maniapoto


  1. Kane Radford – Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa
  2. Corey Main – Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi
  3. Emma Robinson - Ngāpuhi


  1. Sean Horan – Ngāi Tahu
  2. Trevor Shalier – Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Kauwhata


  1. Cameron Leslie (swimming) – Ngāpuhi
  2. Holly Robinson (javelin) – Ngāi Tāhu
  3. Emma Foy (cycling) – Ngāpuhi
  4. Jacob Phillips (track) - Ngāi Tahu

Māori Athletes from the 2016 Australian Olympic Team

  1. Amy Turner (Women’s Sevens) – Tainui
  2. Jesse Parahi (Men’s Sevens) – Ngāti Kahungunu
  3. Kotuku Ngawati (Swimming) – Ngāpuhi


  1. Richie Walker (USA, Womens 7's) -  Ngāti Porou

Please contact Te Kāea if you know of any other Māori athletes competing in the 2016 Olympics games.

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