Silver medal sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke said they were determined to go out on a high after an impressive week in the Olympic regatta.
The pair finished second in the medal race overnight despite having their silver medal assured after consistent performances throughout the 16 races.
"We wanted to go out on a high, we've sailed a great week and we could have just gone through the motions today but we wanted to go out and put on a bit of a show and we almost won," Tuke told TV ONE's Breakfast.
"We really enjoyed the medal race today it was great knowing we had the silver already, we enjoyed the support it was just really special."
After finding out they were assured of a silver medal the pair went out celebrating but showed no signs of fatigue as they battled hard in their final race.
They were cheered on by friends and family watching the race from an old fortification jutting out into Weymouth Harbour, while supporters were also gathering around TVs back home.
"It's getting more and more special the more we see what it means to everyone," Burling said. I'm really proud."
The result officially brought up a ton of Olympic medals for New Zealand since they first competed as part of Australasia in 1908 where Harry Kerr won bronze in the 3500m walk.
The medal was also New Zealand's first sailing medal in an event other than boardsailing since the Barcelona Games in 1992.
Burling, 21, and Tuke, 23, picked up five top three finishes including two race wins in the preliminary fleet races at the regatta venue of Weymouth on the English south coast to lock up second place on the points table.
They could not catch the Australian pair Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen who were assured of the gold medal while six crews started the race vying for the bronze medal.
Instead of taking it easy, the Kiwi pair raced hard, crossing the finish line second behind Austria.
The pair shook hands and threw arms around each other's shoulders to celebrate their medal with Burling clambering aboard the New Zealand tender to hold aloft the national flag and a silver fern flag in each hand.
Outteridge soon joined him on board, to congratulate their training mates and later told the BBC that it was great to enjoy the moment with their Kiwi mates.
Australia, who finished the race fourth, ended on 56 points, New Zealand had 80 and Denmark won bronze with 114 after a third place in the medal race.
Burling and Tuke said they had no firm plan for the future and will be taking some time out to relax.
"This is all we've been aiming for," Burling explained "I suppose we're going to go home have a bit of time off, a bit of fun and re-evaluate and see where to from here.
"There's plenty of exciting things happening in the yachting world at the moment with the AC45's and 72's and the new Volvo boats, and then Rio for the Olympics again."