Golden girl Val arrives home
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 6:40a.m.
A boisterous crowd has welcomed home double Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams at Auckland International Airport.
Adams, who will be presented with her gold medal from London by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at a ceremony later on Wednesday, was cheered by a crowd of around 100 family, well-wishers and media when she entered the arrivals hall at the airport.
She said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from her family and New Zealand, and was looking forward to the medal ceremony on Auckland's waterfront.
"It's going to be an amazing day. Long, but amazing," she said after flying from Switzerland, where she has been based since the Olympics.
"I'm to have a break today and savour the moment because I think it's going to be an amazing night, not only for me, but for New Zealand."
Adams' aunt, Seini Vito Wairasi, said it was a proud day for the family.
"We can't express our feelings, we are so excited.
"We say congratulations to her and we're proud of her and we love her," she said.
Adams' cousin, 10-year-old old Vili Taufatofua, said he was delighted to see his relative back home.
Among those at the airport to welcome her was a member of the Tongan royal family - Lupe'olo Halaevalu Tupou Moheofo Virginia Rose Tuita, the youngest daughter of Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita.
The princess' daughter and members of the New Zealand Pacific Island Sports Association presented Adams with traditional celebratory necklaces.
Adams received a silver medal in London after finishing behind Nadzeya Ostapchuk, before the Belarusian was stripped of gold after testing positive for steroids.
Before boarding her flight home, Adams got the chance to look at the gold medal she will receive.
"Just laid eyes on my gold medal oh how beautiful. Can't wait to have it around my neck," she tweeted.
The medal ceremony at the Cloud features members of Adams' family and wider community, along with other medallists from London.
The Southern Cross Campus choir from Adams' former high school will lead the national anthem.
The ceremony will air live on Campbell Live from 7pm, and will also be streamed by ANZ on its Facebook page and on a big screen at Frank Kitts Park in Wellington.
Fireworks displays follow the celebrations over both Auckland and Wellington Harbours.
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20/09/2012 11:58:59 p.m.
The amzing athletic talented beauty from the Pacific that has the courage to carry-on and achieved her Gold Medal fair and square..
Congratulation Valerie we wish you a safe journey for the future world olympics to gain more Gold Medals..
Wow' what energetic athletic, wow' she's everyone in New Zealand and the Pacific's pride and joy.. Hip' hip' hooray' hip' hip' hooray..
19/09/2012 7:45:00 p.m.
Awsome Me wrote:
WOOOOO!! yea valerie won a gold medal awsome girl man i wish i was at the aucklznd airport my cuison was in there she had the purple coat on with her little sis i was so exited ahen i saw her
19/09/2012 4:17:33 p.m.
Barney and Other olympians. What dicks. this is not a forum about anything but s Valerie's success, we can all take a leaf from in her determination, self discipline, see criticism and sacrifice to be the best. She stood by being honest and true and accepted defeat initially with dignity and congratulating the opponent for their winning. I agree on the paralympians point but this is for Valerie and well done. I will throw the mother in law for her success!
19/09/2012 1:08:52 p.m.
It never fails to amaze me what we acclaim as great achievements.Chucking stuff? Wow.
19/09/2012 11:57:50 a.m.
other olympians wrote:
as much as its a great thing for Valerie, how about our amazing Paraolympians I think they deserve a huge reception as much as Valerie. They are awesome and truly inspiring
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