DAME VALERIE ADAMS
Dame Valerie Adams is undoubtedly the most dominant track and field star New Zealand has ever produced. From 2006-2014 Dame Valerie was unbeaten in major championships, enjoying an unprecedented winning streak in world athletics of 107 competitions during that period. Her major wins included back-to-back Olympic gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, and four world championship titles. In 2016, Dame Valerie added silver to her Olympic medal collection at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was later appointed as a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Athletics.
As a mother of two, Dame Valerie continued to compete at the top level and won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (postponed to 2021) whilst also coaching younger sister Lisa to her gold medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the shotput.
Dame Valerie announced she would be hanging up her throwing shoes in March 2022. She continues to be involved in Athletics through coaching and is the Deputy Chair of the World Athletics Athletes Commission and World Athletics Council Member and in September 2022 was appointed to the board of High Performance Sport NZ. Dame Valerie also enjoys spending time with her young family, working in the community and with her commercial partners.
Dame Valerie is a leader and role model in the Pacific community, a seven-time Halberg sportswoman of the year and featured in a theatrical documentary film Dame Valerie Adams: More than Gold on her life and sporting career was released in October 2022.
"As a person, the global track and field star has come to symbolise more than heaving a steel ball distances that defy physics. She exists in a space where Pasifika achievement and cultural identity and female empowerment and body image and leadership and motherhood all collide."
- Dana Johannsen, National Correspondent - Stuff