2 Aug 2021

Bronze worth more than gold for Dame Valerie at first Olympics since motherhood

From Checkpoint, 5:55 pm on 2 August 2021

A pizza and a lie-down. That's how an elated Dame Valerie Adams is celebrating her bronze medal.

It's the shot putter's fifth Olympics and her fourth medal, adding to two golds and a silver.

Dame Valerie says this one was for her two children, both born since the Rio Games.

After her win and a few hours waiting at the doping control centre, she told Checkpoint it was back to Tokyo's Olympic Village for pizza.

"And then I enjoyed the medal ceremony with all my fellow Kiwis at the stadium, so it was a tremendous day. 

"I had the opportunity to call my family while I was in doping control and seeing just how proud they are. An emotional day for all of us, and just to be able to bring this medal home, not only for Aotearoa but in particular for my two little bubbas.

"I was just elated… It felt so much more incredible than winning the gold medals… It was just hard to describe, but everything just came out as soon as I found out I won the bronze medal.

"Being able to compete as a mum this time around, to be able to go through this journey in the last five years. From the last Olympics to these Olympics I've had two children via C-section.

"To overcome the changes to my body – I have aged as well, just a fraction – that's been a bit of a battle in itself.

"But to be able to come out at an Olympic Games which has been quite uncertain for a lot of athletes, and just pressures that have been on us to be able to perform here, I'm just super elated to be able to do that.

"It has been very different, but let me tell you I drew so much inspiration from my two little babies, just looking up into the stands and imagining their little faces watching their mother. That's what would have happened in a normal world. But we're not living in a normal world right now.

"So it was just magical for me."

Dame Valerie for this Olympics she felt less selfish. "You have to when you become a mother. Your priorities change as well.

"It wasn't about me anymore. I'd go to training, and when you go home things continue as if it doesn't matter how well or bad training went, it was just a matter of making sure that we knew how to balance things. It put life into perspective."

And her next goal?

"To go to sleep tonight for about eight hours. That's my goal right now. One step at a time."