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London Olympics Recap: New Zealand Has Its Most Successful Summer Games Since 1988

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New Zealand's Olympic team at the Summer Games in London was very successful, winning a total of 13 medals.

This was the highest number of medals won by New Zealand since the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

It was also a marked improvement from their medal count four years ago at the Beijing Games when they ascended the medal podium a total of nine times.

The country has a population of around 4.4 million people. When breaking down New Zealand's medal haul by means of per capita, they ranked fourth out of all nations participating at the London Games.

As another comparison, Japan with about 30 times as many people, finished with seven gold medals to New Zealand's tally of six.

The following list takes a brief look at all of the men and women who earned gold medals for New Zealand in 2012:

MEN

Nathan Cohen/Joseph Sullivan: Cohen and Sullivan won rowing gold in the men's double sculls. They are no strangers to medal podiums, though, having won titles in the same event at the 2010 and 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Hamish Bond/Eric Murray: Another great rowing duo for New Zealand, Bond and Murray took gold in the men's coxless pairs. Their Olympic title was no surprise as they have also teamed up for four World Championships golds over the years.

Mahe Drysdale: Drysdale made it a trio of rowing golds for the country at the London Games by capturing the title in the single sculls. He now has two Olympic medals to his credit, with the first one being bronze in the same event at the Beijing Games.

WOMEN

Valerie Adams: Adams is simply the world's best in the women's shot put. A giant in stature at about 193 centimeters in height and possessing a remarkably powerful physique, she has now won consecutive Olympic titles.

Unfortunately, the original gold medalist in London, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, was later found to have used steroids for her winning performance. Because of her drug use, she cheated Adams out of her right to take the top spot on the medal podium in front of tens of thousands of fans in the Olympic stadium, as well as millions of viewers worldwide.

Still, Adams can take some consolation in the fact that she is now a two-time Olympic champion. And at the age of 27, perhaps she will be able to make a run at three consecutive golds in 2016.

Lisa Carrington: At age 23, Carrington is a rising star in women's canoe sprint. She earned the K-1 200-meter gold in London, adding that golden hardware to her 2011 World Championships victory in the same event.

Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie: Aleh and Powrie won a sailing gold for New Zealand in the women's 470 class. By doing so, they also relegated Great Britain's accomplished duo of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark to the silver medal.

Patrick Hattman covered the London Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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