Golden girl gets hero's welcome
New Zealand sporting royalty has arrived in Nelson.
Olympic gold medallist Valerie Adams landed at Nelson airport this afternoon where she received an excited welcome from a crowd of about 30 children and adults.
A hush descended as Adams arrived at 2.15pm, before she was welcomed by Sports Tasman chief executive Nigel Muir and given a special performance by Hampden Street School's Pasifika group Malamalama.
Adams was then swamped by a crowd, eager to get as close as possible, for autographs and photographs or just to offer congratulations on her second Olympic shot put gold medal.
''I didn't think there would be this many people here, it was amazing,'' she said.
She said since returning home from the London Olympics, the response from around New Zealand had been overwhelming.
Adams is guest speaker at tonight's Nelson Sports Awards at Annesbrook Church, Stoke.
She will speak at the sold-out event to a crowd of more than 400 people, in an interview style talk with MC Nick Tansley.
Adams said she planned to talk about her experiences and the hard work it took to reach her goals.
Mr Muir said it was an honour to have Adams at the event. She had been invited in February this year before her Olympic win.