Kiwi Olympians and WOA staffer take the long way home

4 | 5 | 2018

Two Kiwi Olympians and a former WOA colleague start the adventure of a lifetime this week as they set a course to New Zealand from their base in Lausanne, Switzerland by bike.

Rebecca Wardell OLY (heptathlon) and Emma Twigg OLY (rowing) will be taking the long way home as they wave goodbye to their European base, where they have been working for the International Olympic Committee, and set off for New Zealand on the other side of the world. They will be joined by fellow New Zealander and WOA’s own Sarah van Ballekom. The trio will be using the experience to connect with Olympians in each country they visit; to understand their stories, share their own and help spread the Olympic values.

Their overland route will take them through Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and South-East Asia before the final trek down the length of New Zealand.

Along the way they are hoping to catch up with as many Olympians as possible and have already been reaching out to National Olympians Associations on their route. They are also using the trip to raise money to help young women achieve their sporting goals through New Zealand charity, the Forward Foundation.  

Wardell, who represented New Zealand at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has been working in the IOC Sports and Games Departments since 2014, while Twigg, a three-time Olympian and 2014 Single Scull World Champion, joined the IOC in 2017 after taking a break from sport following Rio 2016. Van Ballekom took over from Wardell at the WOA and has been an essential member of the team since 2015. All three have since left their jobs and set off from Lausanne on their bikes on 30 April 2018.  

You can follow their adventure here

To donate to the fund to help support young women in their dream to do something extraordinary please click HERE.