New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Young Kiwi star named as Sports Ambassador
At a ceremony on 4 September, the Ambassador of New Zealand to Korea, H.E. Patrick Rata, presented an award and certificate to teenage golfing sensation Lydia Ko designating her as the New Zealand Embassy’s Sports Ambassador for the 2012 Korea-New Zealand Year of Friendship.
Ambassador Rata said Lydia was a perfect fit for the role. In front of an audience of Embassy staff, representatives of the Kiwi community in Seoul, media, and Lydia’s mum, Ambassador Rata added that all New Zealanders were proud of Lydia’s recent victories at the Canadian Women’s Open and US Women’s Amateur event. “We are proud of you, proud of your achievements and proud of the way you have conducted yourself these last few weeks. We want to share in your magnificent achievements and this event and award is a way of showing you our support and our pride,” said Ambassador Rata.
At age 15, Ms Ko is the youngest winner of an LPGA Tour event. In accepting the award of Sports Ambassador, Ms Ko talked about her pride in being a Kiwi and her deep gratitude for the support received from all New Zealanders. The ceremony also included an impromptu putting contest in which Ambassador Rata finished last and Lydia, naturally, won.
President Lee and Prime Minister Key have designated 2012 as the official Year of Friendship between New Zealand and Korea. 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.