Meet your Taranaki Youth Olympians
6 Sep 2018
Seven Taranaki teens have made it into the New Zealand team that will compete at the Youth Olympic Games.
Hannah O'Connor, Tiana Davison, Iritana Hohaia, Zac Reid, Maya Dickson, Keegan Joe, and David Jeffrey will travel to the games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October.
O'Connor, who will compete in the 3000 metre race and Cross Country, was surprised she even made it in.
"When I got the e-mail I was so happy because I didn't think I'd get in at all so I was pretty excited and surprised," the Sacred Heart Girls College student said.
"We went to a trial event in Vanuatu and you had to win the race to get the spot and I got second in the race but still got in."
Davison and Hohaia will be part of the rugby sevens team. They have been playing for five and three years respectively.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and make the most of it," Hohaia said.
Zac Reid, who is studying Geography via correspondence at Massey University, will be swimming at the Games and has a pretty intense training schedule.
"I swim nine times a week and at the gym four times a week."
Maya Dickson will be playing beach volleyball and regularly travels to Auckland to train.
"To get to the Youth Olympics, all the hard work paid off."
Beach volleyball partners Keegan Joe and David Jeffrey said they were 'stoked' to get in.
"They kept us waiting and when they gave us the thumbs up, yeah, thrilled," Joe said.
All the teens said their end goal was to get to the Summer Olympic Games.
Stuff - Stephanie Mitchell