The Commonwealth Games starts this week so who better for BackChat to talk to than New Zealand's prime Olympic and Commonwealth athlete, Valerie Adams.
HELLO Valerie, how are you?
VA: Bonjour, tres bien.
Not long to go now, are you looking forward to the Commonwealth Games?
VA: Absolutely. It's been another season of hard work and in a way it feels like I've been waiting for Glasgow to come around for quite a while.
It's kind of like that when you have world indoors the same year as a Commonwealth or Olympic Games - as well as the regular season.
It gets busy and you have a lot to focus on, but I am really looking forward to getting out there in Glasgow and competing. I'm ready to go.
You've had a shoulder injury recently, how is it?
VA: It's good, it's under control. I really feel like I've turned a corner with it the last few weeks.
It's been tough because at times this season I've not been able to train properly and that's hard for me, I like to give it everything. But I've been throwing well and competing regularly in the build-up and that's credit to my coach, Jean-Pierre [Egger], and the rest of my team.
You're a fun-loving personality, what's the best thing about being in a Games village environment? Is it fun?
VA: Yeah it is fun. You have the opportunity to mix with people, both from the New Zealand team and other countries - people you otherwise might not meet, people from different sports.
There's also a really strong sense of pride and patriotism. It's inspiring and humbling to be around other great athletes and for a lot of us it's like a slice of home while you're away competing. It's always a special experience.
How will you prepare for your event?
VA: I treat every event I compete in the same way.
I don't have any special routines, or anything like that, I just like to focus on what I'm doing and follow the plan me and my team have had in place for some time now.
Some athlete's close themselves away in competition, but you're pretty active on Twitter, Facebook and the like, does that help keep you relaxed?
VA: To be honest, I just like to have a bloody good laugh when I'm away from training and competition.
Being based in Europe for a lot of the year I miss family and friends so social media obviously makes it easy to stay in touch with them. I like to have a smile on my face as much as possible.
What about the men's shot put with Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill, are you looking forward to watching them duke it out as much as the rest of New Zealand?
VA: Definitely. I really think this might be one of the most anticipated events of this Games for us Kiwis.
It's great for the sport, too, we're very lucky to have two young throwers of such talent and potential. Hopefully they are both successful, that's the most important thing.
- Sunday News