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Sporting community in mourning as tributes flow for Sir Peter Snell

There's an outpouring of support flowing from New Zealand's sporting community, at the news Olympic legend Sir Peter Snell has died.

Source: 1 NEWS

The Kiwi died on Thursday (local time) at his home in Dallas, US, sports author Ron Palenski confirmed.

"He kept his fame to himself, he didn't wear it on his sleeve. A lot of people in Dallas with whom he worked didn't even know what a great runner her was," Palenski told 1 NEWS.

"He was terribly proud of what he did, but very humble about it as well."

Today New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley praised the track star, saying he was responsible for some of the finest moments in New Zealand sport.

"His achievements are at the heart of New Zealand's sporting history and have helped shape our national identity," he says.

"The Golden Hour in Rome 1960 was followed by back to back gold medals at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. These incredible races stand out in many Kiwi's minds as among our greatest sporting achievements."

The wider New Zealand Olympic movement will mourn his loss, Mr Stanley says.

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Fellow champion Murray Halberg told 1 NEWS he is "terribly saddened" by Sir Peter's death.

"At times we were great rivals and competed in tandem almost," he says.

"I will forever remember sharing that day in Rome together. It would have been a highlight for anyone able to do the same."

Another Kiwi great, Rod Dixon, told 1 NEWS about the impact and legacy Sir Peter has left for the current, and future generations of New Zealand athletes.

"When we look back on the career of Peter Snell it's just phenomenal," Dixon says.

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Dixon told 1 NEWS about the lasting legacy Sir Peter Snell leaves for Kiwi sport. Source: 1 NEWS

"He's our greatest legend in track and field, Olympian, of all time, for me. Very inspired by his running and Olympics and medals, but he was more a very important, wonderful, caring person, that was number one for me.

"In the Munich Olympic games when I finished 3rd in the 1500 then somebody told me you just broke Peter Snell's NZ record I go 'oh my gosh,' that was pretty powerful.

"He was an inspiration, and he was almost like the guiding light for all of us. And we, hopefully, can pass that on to the next generation and let them know the baton that they are going to be passed comes from people like Peter Snell and Jack Lovelock, back in 1936, some of the legends of our running."