14 Aug 2012

Adams to miss welcome for Olympians

9:30 pm on 14 August 2012

The country's olympic team will be officially welcomed home from the London 2012 Games in Christchurch's Hagley Park on Friday week but Valerie Adams will not be there.

And it could be months before she is awarded her shotputting gold medal from the London Olympics. Adams is still overseas competing, and her manager says she won't return until at least late September.

She needs to return to New Zealand as does the gold medal which the International Olympic Committee is trying to retrieve from Belarus.

The New Zealander has been elevated to first place after last week's event winner, Belarussian Nadzeya Ostapchuk, was stripped of her gold medal for doping.

The rest of the team, which is hoped to include most of the 27 medal winners, will attend the Christchurch ceremony on Friday week, with the promise that fans will be able to get close to the athletes.

Belarus comes out fighting

Meanwhile, Belarus is refusing to accept Valerie Adams as the new Olympic shot put champion, despite the International Olympic Committee's stripping Ostapchuk of the gold medal.

Parliamentary congratulations

Meanwhile, Parliament has congratulated the New Zealand Olympic team.

Minister for Sport Murray McCully moved the motion to congratulate team members on what he says was an outstanding performance, finishing the Games ranked 15th in the world.

He singled out the rowing head coach Dick Tonks for praise, saying his success at these Games was remarkable.

Labour Party leader David Shearer says the team's performance was a triumph, and has lifted the spirits of the entire country.