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.”