It was a night of celebration and emotion as the Governor General of New Zealand placed the Olympic Gold medal around Valerie Adams neck at a public gathering in Auckland on Wednesday evening.
His Excellency and Patron of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Sir Jerry Mateparae said that an audience of four and half million New Zealanders had been reconvened for the presentation of the 2012 London Olympic Games gold medal for the women’s shot put to Valerie Adams.
“You are the women’s shot put Olympic champion of the 30th Olympiad,” he said before making the presentation.
“In the Olympic Stadium on 6th August 2012 with the world watching you put the shot out to 20.70m, it was the best clean shot that night.
“Unfortunately the circumstances we all know well (meant) you were denied the opportunity of receiving the gold medal on the world stage. You were denied the opportunity of standing on top of the podium, hearing your national anthem and celebrating your success with the global audience. I trust this modest ritual will go some way in giving you the acknowledgement, the satisfaction and the honour that you rightfully deserve – it goes towards in proclaiming you as a double Olympic champion,” said Sir Jerry.
Valerie said that the presentation was more than she had expected, as she bowed forward hands clasped on receiving the medal. There was hardly a dry eye amongst the 2500 gathered in the Cloud as Adams stood watching the New Zealand flag being raised with the national anthem being sung by pupils from her former high school Southern Cross Campus.
“I want to personally thank you so much for making this possible you have done an amazing job thank you so much. To one particular person who’s not here tonight, Jean-Pierre (coach Egger in Switzerland) he’s watching.
“Thank you so much to the public of New Zealand for your love and your support and your continued confidence in myself as the athlete, I did this for you and I did this for our country – thank you so much,” said Adams from the podium.
Adams also extended her thank to Olympic Team sponsor ANZ who had developed the event along side the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
Adams later said that the highlight was getting the medal and the national anthem.
“Also just enjoying the moment. This more than makes up for it, tonight is a very neat celebration, so we have to embrace it for what it is, obviously the situation was what it was in London – we can not do anything about it but we’ve embraced it tonight now and I’m just glad the chapter is closed now and I’ve finally got the medal around my neck and we’re moving on. She robbed me of the moment, but today
I’ve just had my moment so this makes up for every other moment I’ve missed,” said Adams.
Adams said it had been an amazing day from the reception she received from family and friends at the airport in the early morning when she arrived home to the presentation in the evening.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic.”