Triple Olympic Gold Medalist and New Zealand’s Athlete of the 20th Century
Greg Lautenslager is in the mould of Arthur Lydiard. The success of Nelson teenager runners is not due to chance circumstances. Nelson, through this Academy has the opportunity to show the rest of New Zealand that investment in knowledgeable, dedicated coaches is an investment that will unlock the potential of talented young athletes.
Olympic bronze medalist and 1983 New York City Marathon Champion
Every aspect of this academy and the effects and benefits Nelson, the high school athletes and the young people. Nelson has, and is the BEST training environment in the world for runners and other sports in conditioning and training. In Greg you have a top man, coach, and leader.
Four-time Olympian and bronze medallist in the 1992 Olympic Women’s Marathon
One person with sufficient drive, knowledge and enthusiasm can inspire and guide our youth to great things. In sport this has been shown repeatedly throughout New Zealand history; world beaters, under the wing of a dedicated coach, springing from humble beginnings to distinction on the world stage. No better example springs to mind than Arthur Lydiard and his group of Olympic champions. In the same spirit, Greg Lautenslager has single-handedly created opportunities for young athletes that might have otherwise died out as it has in many places in New Zealand
Silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic 1500 metres and bronze medalist at 2016 Olympic 1,500 metres.
Greg Lautenslager has been the number one reason why I have paid personal attention to Nelson Athletics. Soon after his arrival in the region, athletes from Nelson starting popping up on the national radar, and producing some performances not seen in New Zealand for a long time. I initially thought that Dallas Bowden was a one of a kind kid, but Greg continued to have success with athlete after athlete. The system and team environment that Greg provided for them in Nelson is what opened their eyes to the sport of athletics, and how far their talent can take them. I have no doubt that many many other kids will follow in the years to come also.”
2016 Olympian in the 1,500m
I met Greg in my last year of intermediate. At this stage I had just been introduced to the sport of running and was competing in both track and cross country meets around the region. Although I had experienced reasonable success at these first meets, it wasn’t until Greg took me under his wing that I quickly discovered a natural aptitude for the sport, and it was then through his passion that I was encouraged to pursue my running further.
Not only did Greg become my running coach, he became a close friend; and most importantly, a mentor for my sport and life surrounding it. It was through his friendly nature and unwavering confidence in his own knowledge that helped make it so easy to form the strong relationship we have. I had never considered running to be a sport I’d pursue simply because it was not a ‘team’ sport, but with Greg, I felt like he and I were a team. I relied on his coaching and guidance and he relied on me to give my absolute best. I believe that this sense of teamwork has played an important part in the successes we have had together.
Greg made significant sacrifices in order to be my coach. He would spend hours down at Trafalgar Park for our training sessions, these hours being spent away from his family and friends. What also made Greg such a great coach and mentor was that he led by example, showing me the key skills and concepts needed to succeed not only on the track but also in life in general. Through emphasising the importance of sticking to his schedule and turning up to practise, he taught me discipline. Through allowing me to make the ultimate decisions about my training and how much work I put in, he taught me responsibility and the importance of hard work. His encouragement and desire for me to achieve personal milestones never failed to inspire.