2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Dame Valerie Adams

  • 21/03/2018
Dame Valerie Adams
Dame Valerie Adams at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo credit: Photosport

Age: 33
Height: 1.93m
Weight: 120kg
Event: Shot put
Born: October 6, 1984
Personal best: 21.24m (outdoors), 20.54m (indoors)
Social links: @ValerieAdams84 (Twitter), @Kasanita1984 (Facebook), @valerieadams84 (Instagram)

Dame Valerie has dominated NZ track and field for almost two decades, emerging from South Auckland to become one of the most decorated and respected athletes in the world.

She was discovered as a teeanger by former Olympic javelin exponent Kirsten Hellier, who guided her through her early career, starting with a world youth shot put title in 2001 and world junior crown in 2002.

Dame Valerie made her senior breakthrough in 2005, taking a bronze medal at the world championships, but was later promoted to silver, when Belarusian winner Nadzeya Ostapchuk was disqualified for doping.

She won the first of three Commonwealth Games titles in 2006 and the following year, became one of a select group to win youth, junior and senior world crowns, capturing the first of four titles with a new Commonwealth record.

In 2008, she won the first of four world indoor titles and then the first of two Olympic gold medals, earning overall honours at the Halberg Awards.

Dame Valerie has three supreme awards to her name and is a seven-time Sportswoman of the Year.

After splitting with Hellier in 2010, she continued to dominate her discipline on the international stage, taking out the 2012 Olympic gold only after Ostapchuk tested positive.

Four years later, she was sensationally pipped by American Michelle Carter with the final throw of the Rio Olympic competition.

Last October, she gave birth to her first child and faces a huge challenge winning her fourth Commonwealth gold on the Gold Coast.

The youngest of Dame Valerie’s 17 siblings - Steven Adams - plays basketball in the NBA for Oklahoma City Thunder.

She was appointed a Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the 2017 New Years Honours.