A 2am haka orchestrated by chef de mission Dave Currie at the Beijing Olympics was embarrassing and arrogant, shot put star Val Adams says in her new book.
In Valerie, written with Sunday Star-Times columnist Phil Gifford, Adams lets fly at Currie for leading an insensitive and cringe-worthy haka in the team village in the early hours of the morning after she'd won gold.
"I kid you not, I walk around the corner, and here's the whole management doing the haka. I was standing there feeling, 'Oh my God, are you kidding me? Dig me a hole right now.'
"I was so embarrassed to be a Kiwi right there. I felt, 'How dare you be so arrogant to do the haka now, when James Dolphin, my team-mate, is due to run the biggest race of his life, the 200 metres qualifier, at nine o'clock this morning?'."
Adams said the haka woke up Dolphin, who was angry and failed to perform to his best. "He got bagged in the media the next day, and I could only think, ‘What the hell is wrong with you guys in management?'
"I'd seen it in 2004, when Dave Currie was the chef de mission, and it was the same when he was in charge in 2008."
In the book, Adams also reveals that she split with her husband Bertrand Vili over his drinking. She said a car accident involving alcohol was symptomatic of the "massive problems that would eventually break our marriage apart".
Adams also reveals her other great split, with first coach Kirsten Hellier, was driven by Hellier, who told Adams in 2010 she couldn't take her any further. "At the end she said, ‘I hope we can still be friends.'
"Later, Kirsten was on TVNZ's Close Up, saying that it was my decision. And I thought, ‘this is going to get bitter', and it was. We hardly spoke for ages, although there was the odd text. It feels weird now every time I'm around her. It feels pretty artificial to me . . . We don't see each other socially at all."
- Sunday Star Times
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