A full 40 days after New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams threw for gold in London, the two-time Olympic champ finally received her medal at a reception in Auckland Wednesday.
Why the wait? Well, the defending Beijing gold medalist and three-time world champ actually finished second to Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk on Aug. 6, but when Ostapchuk failed a doping test, earning a one-year ban after her coach admitted to spiking her food, Adams once again claimed victory over her longtime rival.
Adams was treated to the full Olympic experience Wednesday: a podium, a presentation of the medal by her country’s Governor General, Jerry Mateparae, and the playing of her national anthem.
“Thank you so much to the people of New Zealand for your love and support for me as an athlete,” Adams, near tears, told an audience of roughly 2,000 people. “I do this for you.”
JEONGSEON, South Korea — The United States has a fixation at the Olympics on winning gold. Lindsey Vonn showed Wednesday how to win bronze.
“I skied a great race today,” Vonn also said. “Sofia [Goggia] just skied better than I did.”
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She also said she hoped she had made her grandfather proud. Dabbing away tears, she said: “It’s sad. This is my last [Olympic] downhill. I wish I could keep going, you know? I had so much fun. I love what I do. My body just can’t — probably can’t — take another four years. But — I don’t know, I’m proud. I’m proud to have competed for my country. Proud to have given it my all. I’m proud to have … come away with a medal.”
Pilot Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz won Germany’s latest gold in a sliding sport in PyeongChang, defeating Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor sled by 0.07 seconds. Meyers Taylor, along with brakeman Lauren Gibbs, matched the silver she won in Sochi.
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Jamanka led after two runs, and delivered in Run 3, setting a track record with a phenomenal run down the course. She hit the lines perfectly to put the pressure on Meyers Taylor — and Meyers Taylor, who has dealt with an achilles injury in PyeongChang, delivered with a course record of her own. She was 0.07 seconds back after two runs, but closed the gap to 0.04 heading into the final run.
The stage was set for a thrilling final leg. It, too, did not disappoint. Elana Meyers had her best run of the Games, but Jamanka matched it, to give Germany yet another win on the PyeongChang sliding course.
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Gold: Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz (GER) – 3:22.45
Silver: Elana Meyers-Taylor and Lauren Gibbs (USA) – 3:22.52
Bronze: Kaillee Humphries and Phylicia George (CAN) – 3:22.89
4. Annika Drazek and Stephanie Schneider (GER) – 3:22.97
5. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans (USA) – 3:23.02