Opinion: 'She's caught' but a moment’s lost
Tue, 14 Aug 2012 6:34a.m.
Opinion by Greg Robertson
When Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus heaved a massive 21.36cm in the women’s shot put at the London 2012 Olympics she stole the moment.
Now, after getting caught drug cheating, she has to give that moment back.
But for New Zealand’s Valerie Adams it’s a moment that can never be replaced.
“She’s (Ostapchuk) history now,” said Adams in a media conference, after news broke that her silver medal had turned to gold.
“What’s my feelings towards her? None at all – I don’t want to waste my energy on her. She’s caught now.
“It was her moment but that’s the only moment she’s able to live now, because it’s all taken away from her,” she says.
Adams was in the car travelling to a training session when she received the word that Ostapchuk’s urine samples, from the day prior and immediately after the shot put final, had tested positive to the anabolic agent metenolone, and that Ostapchuk had been stripped of her title and the gold medal.
Adams, who had finished second with a throw of 20.70cm, was accordingly awarded the gold medal – defending the title she won in Beijing in 2008. It may, however, take a few months for her to receive the medal.
But the reality is Adams’ ‘moment’ can never be given back – not the moment that she deserved to have.
“I wished that my family that were here in London were able to see me receive the (gold) medal on top of the podium and listen to the national anthem,” said Adams.
Nevertheless, after the roller-coaster ride the back-to-back gold medallist has had over the last two weeks, winning gold – despite it being a week later – was a reward for massive effort.
“We won, we won the gold medal,” Adams said when she arrived at coach Jean-Pierre Egger's house, choked with tears.
And that was a priceless moment.
“On August 6,” Adams explained, "we shared a moment of distress and disappointment but today we shared a moment of happiness.”
Adams was overcome when told the news by New Zealand Olympics chef de mission Dave Currie about 11.30am UK time on Monday (10.30pm NZt).
At first, she didn’t believe it.
“I wasn’t sure it was for real.”
It’s been a lot for the champion athlete to take in: issues with her entry to the competition, defeat and then glory. But she’s savouring the knowledge that she set out to achieve a goal and she reached her target - albeit with a drug cheat thrown into the mix.
Adams says she knew the Belarus athlete had been throwing massive distances but “never wanted to assume” that she was doping.
“I’m just grateful that the system (to catch drug cheats) put in place is working,” says Adams.
And now, the silver lining in an Olympic cloud shines golden for a Kiwi champion.
Let’s hope a very special ‘moment’ can be had back here on New Zealand soil so that Adams can stand atop that podium and hear the national anthem with a nation of support behind her.
Just as she deserves.
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14/08/2012 5:27:11 p.m.
Hey All Blacks, heard the news about Val's Gold medal? wicked aye! Well I have an even wicked-er idea. It sucks that Val didn't get to receive her gold in front of all those people and so I propose that before your game against England at Twickenham she gets the medal ceremony she deserves. Imagine it now...she would have adoring fans, in the same city where she fairly and squarely won, and we would get to stand with her and sing our anthem. So NZ Olympic Team and our World Champion All Blacks, what do you reckon?
14/08/2012 12:01:29 p.m.
Jude Benson wrote:
Honesty pays, you were always the winner to us in NZ, Good on you Valerie The Golden Girl.
14/08/2012 10:51:45 a.m.
Danny Beh wrote:
Great outcome for Val but the priceless moment that was lost really takes the shine off it. Not knowing how these tests work I'm hoping there's an explanation but why was the Belarussian able to compete when she'd tested positive the day before the event?
14/08/2012 10:34:23 a.m.
GO VALERIE we all knew you were the best and something was fishy Outstanding
14/08/2012 10:28:51 a.m.
TARO BEATS STEROIDS wrote:
Have her medal ceremony at the half time of an All Black test match. Therefore she gets the recognition and the audience she deserves. Well done Val, you were gracious in defeat and now you can celebrate in victory. TARO POWER chooohooo
14/08/2012 7:40:27 a.m.
Given the massive increase in throwing distances achieved by the Belarussian in the past 12 months, this really was a foregone conclusion. Thankfully the system works!
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