Olympic swimmer, 17, gets haka, 'happy tears' at school after Tokyo dream comes true

Source: 1News

Swimming star Erika Fairweather had her Olympic dreams come true in front of friends and family this morning after the 17-year-old's place in Tokyo was confirmed at a school assembly in Dunedin.

Fairweather's place in the team was announced by White Fern Suzie Bates at Kavanagh College this morning and after a short speech from the lady of the moment, her peers honoured her with a haka as well as the school song.

"You know that the school will be behind you the whole way," deputy head girl Annabelle Ring said.

Fairweather, who is the head girl at Kavanagh College, then had a chance to take photos with her classmates as well as enjoy plenty of hugs and "happy tears".

Fairweather told 1 NEWS she knew the moment was coming thanks to another priceless moment one evening before training.

"I was in bed and had training the next morning but I got an email," Fairweather said.

"I was so excited I jumped out of the bed and ran around the house and then couldn't sleep for the rest of the night."

Fairweather added she'd always dreamed of the Olympics but had surprised herself by making it at 17.

"When you play sport who doesn't think of the Olympic dream but I definitely didn't think it was going to be this Olympics, always thought more towards 2024.

"But I couldn't be happier that it's now."

Fairweather is joined by Lewis Clareburt, Zac Reid, Eve Thomas, Hayley McIntosh, Ali Gayler and Carina Doyle in the swimming team with all seven heading to their first Olympics. Fairweather is the youngest.

New Zealand has won a total of eight Olympic medals in swimming. 

The last medals brought home were by Danyon Loader from the Atlanta 1996 Olympics where he won two gold medals - one in the 200m and another in the 400m Freestyle events.

New Zealand Olympic Swimming team

Lewis Clareburt, 200m & 400m Individual Medley

Zac Reid, 400m & 800m Freestyle

Erika Fairweather, 200 & 400 Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

Eve Thomas, 800m & 1500m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 

Hayley McIntosh, 1500m

Ali Galyer, 100m & 200m Backstroke, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

Carina Doyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay