Dame Val chosen to carry the flag at closing ceremony

3:09 pm on 8 August 2021

Dame Valerie Adams has been named the New Zealand team's flagbearer for the Tokyo Olympic Games closing ceremony.

Dame Valerie Adams. New Zealand. Athletics. Shot Put. Bronze Medal Presentation. Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, , Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sunday 1 August 2021.

Photo: Steve McArthur/Photosport Ltd 2021

The 36-year-old is a two-time Olympic champion having won gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. She won silver at Rio 2016.

Competing in her fifth Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, Dame Valerie threw 19.62m to win the bronze medal.

"It's an incredible honour to be named as the New Zealand flag bearer for tonight's closing ceremony," Dame Valerie said.

"To represent our team and Aotearoa tonight as we close these Games together means a lot to me and my family. One day when my children Kimoana and Kepaleli understand what their mum does I hope they will be just as proud of this significant moment too.

"It's fair to say Tokyo 2020 will go down in history, the success of these Games is an absolute testament to the people of Japan who enabled us to safely come together and inspire and unite the world. Arigatō gozaimasu."

New Zealand's Dame Val Adams, Shotput Final, Olympic Stadium, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sunday 01 August 2021. Mandatory credit: © John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

New Zealand Team chef de mission Rob Waddell paid tribute to Dame Valerie.

"We asked Dame Valerie to carry the New Zealand flag and lead our team at the closing ceremony as she perfectly represents the values and culture of the New Zealand team," Waddell said.

"Dame Valerie is an incredible athlete who has represented New Zealand to an extremely high standard for around 20 years.

"She's a fantastic leader of this team and I'm looking forward to watching her carry our flag for the first time at the Olympic Games."

Dame Valerie will follow in the footsteps of other closing ceremony flagbearers including Lisa Carrington (Rio), Mahé Drysdale (London) and Caroline and Georgina Evers Swindell (Beijing).

The closing ceremony begins at 11pm New Zealand time.