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An emotional Sir Peter Snell has said that gifting us his objects was an ‘amazing’ experience that helped ‘ease the guilt’ the sporting legend has felt for basing himself overseas.
Sir Peter was welcomed here yesterday with his wife Miki Snell, daughters Amanda and Jacqui Snell, and granddaughters Sam and Jodi Snell.
His granddaughters and daughters carried in boxes containing the items he is gifting.
The Olympic great wiped away tears as staff sang waiata in his honour.
‘This is an emotional moment for me,’ Sir Peter said, speaking on our marae in front of family, friends, and old running colleagues.
‘This has allowed me to feel that New Zealanders know I love this country, and this is proof of it.’
Sir Peter said he had been moved to donate the items after hearing that we had bid on the sale of a singlet, thought to be the one he wore at the Tokyo Olympics. The singlet was withdrawn from sale when it was found not to be authentic.
‘I'm totally touched by this whole experience, and everything Te Papa has done. I can't really express my appreciation enough for what has happened here today.’
Sir Peter Snell is reunited with Heather Rogers, who he was greeted by in 1960 after winning the gold medal in Rome. She was photographed at the time wearing his medal. Te Papa
Sir Peter said he would not miss having the items at home, and that the whole family was happy with the decision.
‘I'm past looking at it in the cabinet and so on. I don't need the actual physical things to look at.’
‘It will stop a whole lot of family arguments down the line,’ Sir Peter joked.