She may have fallen short of defending her Olympic gold medal, but Valerie Adams will be a huge drawcard as guest speaker at the Nelson Sports Awards later this year.
Adams added a silver medal in London this morning after being beaten by Belarus star Nadzeya Ostapchuk in the Olympic shot put final.
Ostapchuk produced four straight throws over 21 metres, with a best of 21.36m, well ahead of Adams' 20.70m.
Adams was in tears afterwards as she spoke of feeling that she had let the country down.
“I'm just very disappointed in myself. I just really wanted to give them more, and give it more. I trained really hard. I tried. I can't say I didn't try."
Adams, however, is assured of a warm homecoming as a double Olympic medallist, and Sports Tasman is delighted to have secured her as the guest speaker at the NZCT Nelson Sports Awards on November 28.
Sports Tasman events manager Rita Merriman said getting Adams, a world, Commonwealth and Olympic champion, was a coup for the event.
"When we were thinking of who to invite we thought ‘let's just go big, why not'?" Ms Merriman said.
“It's a huge honour to host someone of her calibre. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people in our community to get up close to and be inspired by this sporting legend and listen to her speak about her experiences."
As well as hearing her speak of an inspirational and successful career, people had said they wanted to meet her just to see how tall she is, Ms Merriman said.
"I can't wait to meet her, just to feel her presence beside you would be pretty wicked."
As well as her disappointment after the final Adams also expressed anger over the administrative foulup that had seen New Zealand team officials fail to enter her for the event, requiring some last-minute calls.
“It caused a little bit of stress - that's the sort of s... you don't need to deal with,” she said. “But my manager will deal with it.”
Adams said that in the final her aggressiveness "just wasn't there like it used to be".
"I put my heart out there trying but unfortunately I walked away with a silver. It was Ostapchuk's day - that's life, it's sport.”
The Nelson sports awards will have a distinct Olympic theme this year. About 20 of the region's Olympians have been invited to attend and help to celebrate the accomplishments of our area's athletes on the national and international stage. Sure to be among the list of nominees are current Olympians, bronze medallist Jonelle Richards, swimmer Amaka Gessler, road cyclist Jack Bauer and potential hockey medallist Anita Punt.
Nominations are open. Forms are available from Sport Tasman or online at sporttasman.org.nz/sports-awards.
- Full dinner tickets to the sports awards or gallery tickets to hear Valerie Adam's presentation may be reserved at Sport Tasman on 03 546 7910. For further information go to sporttasman.org.nz/sports-awards.