Anyone interested in shot-putting must have heard of Valerie Adams, a celebrated New Zealand shot-putter who is currently the top female shot-put medalist in New Zealand.
Valerie Adams has competed in various world championships and has won gold many times. She has won the gold medal three times at world championships and twice the gold medal at indoor world championships. She also won the Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Without a doubt, she is a well-decorated athlete.
Valerie Adams, one of the most dominant shot-putters in the world, was born in Rotorua, New Zealand, on October 6, 1984, as Dame Valerie Kasanita Adams, the daughter of a Tongan mother, Lillika Ngauamo, and her father Sydney Adams, who is of English descent. Her father, Sydney Adams, settled in New Zealand after retiring from the Royal Navy. He had a very active love life so that in the end he had a total of eighteen children by five different women. The youngest of Valerie’s siblings are the well-known NBA basketball player Steven Adams. Besides Steven Adams, two other brothers play professional basketball in New Zealand, but not as well known as Steven.
Valerie began to take an interest in sports when she was still at school. One of her sports teachers, who recognized her natural abilities, encouraged her interest in sports. The physical appearance of the aspiring athlete also helped her in sports activities. She is very tall and has very strong arms, which are suitable for shot put or javelin throwing. Valerie met her first coach Kirsten Hellier, a former javelin thrower when she was still a teenager, and she agreed to become her coach in 1998.
Growing up was not so rosy for this promising athlete. Tragedy struck her when her mother got cancer. Valerie had to put her education on hold for her mother’s sake, as she spent three months caring for her mother in the hospice where she struggled with the disease. Valerie’s inspiration to take up the sport as a profession came when she watched the Sydney Olympics in 2000 with her sick mother in the hospice. She lost her mother shortly after the event, but the seed had already been sown in her head.
Valerie Adams Active Days In Sports
Valerie became athletically active and her first big victory came when she won a title at the Junior World Championships in 2002 with a litter of 16.87 m. She paved her way to a rising star when she won the Junior World Championship with a throw of 17.73 m. Within a year Valerie won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2002 with a throw of 17.45 m. This victory was significant in her life because it motivated her to greater achievements in the future. At the age of 18, Valerie finished fifth at the 2003 World Championships.
The fact that the rising star had an appendectomy just a few weeks before her first Olympics (2004) was a major setback for her, and despite her delicate condition she took part and finished seventh. Valerie lost gold to Nadzeya Ostapchuk in 2005 when she finished second in the World Athletics Finals, but as luck would have it, Ostapchuk tested positive for drugs and as a result, her results were invalidated and the rising star – Valerie – was promoted to gold.
2006 was a good year for Valerie Adams, she broke the 20-year record of 19.00 m in the Commonwealth Games with a throw of 19.66 m and won the gold medal. In 2008 she won the Indoor World Championship title for the first time in Valencia. With a throw from the first attempt over 19.73 m, she qualified for the final round of the Olympic Games in Beijing and won her first gold medal with a throw of over 19.73 m. With a throw out of 20.44 m, she defeated the Chinese Lijiao Gong and the German Nadine Kleinert and won the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin 2009. In April 2010 Valerie changed her coach from Kirsten Hellier, whom she had trained since 1998, to Didier Poppe, but unfortunately, she could not stand it with the new coach for long and had to take over Jean-Pierre Egger as a coach in the second half of 2010.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London she lost the gold medal to Nadzeya Ostapchuk, but just like at a repeat of the 2005 World Athletics Final in 2005 Ostapchuk failed the women’s test and Valerie became gold medalist. With the gold medal, she won at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, she became the highest gold medalist in shot put. Valerie represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games 2014, where she was the gold medalist.
Family: Brother, Husband
The famous shot-putter comes from an 18-person family and has three of her siblings in active sports, including the famous basketball player Steven Adams.
Valerie was first married to Bertrand Vili, a discus thrower from New Caledonia. Their marriage lasted from 2004 to 2010 and on April 2, 2016, she married her childhood friend Gabriel Price for the second time. The couple is blessed with a daughter Kimoana Josephine Adams-Price, born on October 11, 2017.
Valerie Adams has quite an intimidating appearance in terms of her bodybuild. She stands at an admirable height of 1.93 m and her weight is a whopping 260lbs (120kg).