The 31-strong New Zealand Paralympic Team returned to New Zealand just under two weeks ago to a wave of public interest and support. This team will now hold a place in New Zealand sporting history with a collection of outstanding results including winning a staggering total of 21 medals (9 GOLD, 5 SILVER, 7 BRONZE) – 3 medals over target, finishing 13th on the medal table, retaining 1st in the world on medals per capita and equal 1st place for the most Gold medals ever (9 also in Atlanta 1996).
In the wake of this success, Paralympics New Zealand are now thrilled to offer New Zealanders the opportunity to own a unique portrait collection – the Spirit of Gold® Collection. This beautiful set of 12 portraits represents some of New Zealand’s most well-known summer and winter Paralympians and Para-Athletes. The portraits were painted for Paralympics New Zealand during 2015 by well-known Kiwi artist, Amber Stephens.
Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, Paralympics New Zealand) said: “The Spirit of Gold® Collection has toured the country with the support of our partners in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The Collection has provided a unique way to raise awareness in the community and further increase the understanding of Para-Athletes and Para-Sport. The Collection has stimulated conversation and interest throughout New Zealand with over 120,000 people having seen the portraits first hand in 85 different locations. We would ideally like the Collection to be purchased in its’ entirety in order continue and build upon awareness and change attitudes for years to come.”
She continues: “The Collection includes individual portraits of a number of the Rio 2016 medallists such as Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher, Cameron Leslie, Emma Foy and Laura Thompson and winter Paralympians Corey Peters, Adam Hall and Carl Murphy on the road to PyeongChang 2018.
The Collection was created 18 months prior to the Rio Paralympics, so currently does not include other Rio 2016 medallists such as Liam Malone, Anna Grimaldi, Rory McSweeney and Holly Robinson. We would like to encourage the eventual buyer to expand the Collection to include these Paralympians by commissioning Amber Stephens to create the additional Rio Para medal winners, completing the full set of Rio medallists.”
Amber Stephens (Artist) said: “These portraits were painted with the intention to inspire New Zealander’s to achieve anything no matter what the challenge. My wish would be that the portraits are purchased and utilised in such a way to inspire emerging talent.
“The collection was founded through meeting and painting Sophie Pascoe. Her unapologetic attitude and sporting leadership instigated a series of portraits together with inspiring young New Zealander’s, to create awareness and financial benefit to fund the Paralympian’s to Rio. Furthermore to have the funds assist these athletes in continuing their success for New Zealand.”
If you are interested in purchasing the Collection or would like further information please contact Sarah Dance (Events and Fundraising Manager) on firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 847 821.