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Barbara Kendall wins gold at Barcelona

2 August 1992

New Zealand’s sailing medallists at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics
New Zealand’s sailing medallists at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (New Zealand Herald/

Windsurfer Barbara Kendall was New Zealand’s only gold medallist at the Barcelona Olympics.

She was just the second New Zealand woman to win an Olympic title, 40 years after Yvette Williams (see 23 July). She is one of three New Zealand windsurfing gold medallists, alongside her brother Bruce Kendall (Seoul, 1988) and Tom Ashley (Beijing, 2008).

Barbara Kendall took up windsurfing in 1984, aged 16. The following year she came third at the ISAF Women’s World Championship, and in 1987 she won the Production World Championships in Sweden, the first of four world championship victories.

Kendall competed at four more Olympic Games, winning silver at Atlanta in 1996 and bronze at Sydney in 2000. Four times New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year, she was awarded an MBE for services to windsurfing and was one of the original inductees to the International Sailing Federation Hall of Fame.

Barbara Kendall was the Oceania athletes’ representative on the International Olympic Committee from 2005 to 2008. Elected as a member of the IOC in 2011, she served on several of its commissions. 

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Barbara Kendall wins gold at Barcelona, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated