Olympic double gold medallist Valerie Adams has further her cemented her position in New Zealand sporting history taking the prestigious New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Lonsdale Cup for an unprecedented fourth time.
The award goes to the athlete or team who made the most outstanding contribution to Olympic or Commonwealth sport in the preceding year. Adams is the first person to win the Lonsdale Cup four times.
The award was made on the back of another stand-out year for Adams that included becoming the first shot-putter in history to win four World Championship titles, following a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow in October.
She has also remained unbeaten in the Diamond League since 2010, with a record 42 consecutive wins. Her 2013 season finished with 13 wins.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says she is delighted to award the trophy to Adams. “Valerie is an inspiration to young New Zealanders and continues to perform at the very top of her field. Four world championship wins is outstanding.”
Smith added that Adams’ contribution to sport extends to her work an ambassador to the Get Set Go youth programme delivered by Athletics New Zealand.
Adams herself said she was honoured to receive the New Zealand Olympic Committee award. "I am so humbled by this, what an amazing year it has been for New Zealand sport and Olympic sports producing World Champions. I am very proud of my year and especially creating history for New Zealand. It’s great that the New Zealand Olympic Committee recognises achievements like this each year and I thank them for this. It is a very special award."
Adams was shortlisted for the Female Athlete of the Year by the IAAF.
Adams won the Lonsdale Cup in 2006, 2007 and 2011 and was the first person to be awarded the award for both a third and fourth time.
The Cup was first presented in 1961 to Sir Murray Halberg.
Since then it has been awarded to outstanding New Zealand athletes including Sir John Walker, Sir Peter Snell, Rob Waddell and Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.
The Cup is sterling silver and of historic value, having its origins in a 1911 sporting festival between the United Kingdom, Canada and Australasia held to honour the accession of George V.
The Lonsdale Cup winner is selected by New Zealand Olympic President’s Council (business and sporting leaders) and the New Zealand Olympic Committee Board.