Elation as Val gets her gold

Supporters erupt as Governor-General places medal around emotional Adams' neck.
Olympic Gold medallist Valerie Adams receives her London Olympic Medal in Auckland celebrating with her supporters on Wednesday night at the Cloud. [Photo / Greg Bowker]

Arms shot into the air under the rolling blue canopy of the Cloud.

"Now I know, I can believe 100 per cent, that I am the Olympic champion," said Valerie Adams, New Zealand's belated gold medallist for winning the shot put at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"This is more than I expected," Adams said pulling out a tissue from her pocket as her eyes flushed red.

She thanked New Zealand "for your love and support".

"I do this for you, and I do this for our country."

The medal ceremony last night at the Cloud, on Auckland's waterfront, was the first time an Olympic gold medal had been presented in New Zealand.

"Valerie, tonight we've reconvened the audience of 4.5 million New Zealanders," said Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, who placed the medal around Adams' neck.

"On behalf of all New Zealanders, I congratulate you," he said as the crowd applauded.

Rows of seats lined the full length of the Cloud, filled with 2500 supporters.

The podium was at the far end, looking over the vast crowd.

"We've followed her as she did her big throws. And now it's a privilege to be able to be with her getting her medal," said Debbie Anderson, from Albany. "Just amazing to share with her all the hard work she's put in."

The Governor-General told Adams it was a "modest ritual" that he hoped would make up for missing out on the medal on the world stage.

Adams was awarded gold after Belarusian rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk was found to have taken a banned substance at the Games.

Last night, 14 of our other Olympians stood behind Adams on the stage.

The MC yelled, and the crowd erupted in a roar.

"We love you Valerie," someone yelled.


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