Sir Peter Snell


17 December 1938




Owairaka Athletics Club

Named New Zealand’s Sports Champion of the 20th Century, perhaps no athlete in the history of Kiwi athletics holds quite the same reverential status as middle-distance icon Sir Peter Snell.

A three-time Olympic gold medallist, double Commonwealth champion and six-time world record breaker his achievements under the revolutionary training methods of Arthur Lydiard formed the centrepiece of a golden era of New Zealand endurance running.

Born in Opunake, Taranaki on December 17, 1938 sport formed an important part of Snell’s life from a young age. He played rugby, badminton, cricket, golf and hockey and became a champion tennis player. During his time attending Mt Albert Grammar School in Auckland he had also showed promise as a middle-distance athlete,  placing third over the 880yrds and mile distance at the Inter Secondary school sports.

He first met Lydiard at the age of 17 after a house boy at Mount Albert Grammar invited him along for a training run at ...