International Women's Day

International Women's Day

Here in Aotearoa, we have so many amazing women to celebrate: Trail blazers like Kate Shepherd and Dame Whina Cooper, Fearless and brave such as Jean Batten and Nancy Wake. Creative and talented like Jane Campion and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, we could go on. But we felt there is one Kiwi woman who cannot go unmentioned on International Women’s Day.

Dame Valerie Adam’s career speaks for itself: two Olympic Games gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, two World Indoor Championship gold medals and four World Championship gold medals. In seven years, there has been only one when she didn’t take home gold, and even then it was a silver!

In the world of track and field, she was the first woman to win four back-to-back individual world championships. When it comes to shot put, she is the most successful shot putter (man or woman) of all time. Hugely impressive.

Here’s how NZOC boss, Kereyn Smith described her:

"She has inspired countless young athletes, and especially young women and Pasifika peoples to chase their dreams. She embodies the values of the New Zealand Team and her drive and determination have been second to none”.

But what strikes us most is her humility. Anyone who has ever heard Dame Valerie speak could not be touched by this and the sacrifices she has made to represent New Zealand for the last 22 years. We know for so many of her fans (like us) when she still competed at the highest level after becoming a Mum, we were bowled over. She showed us all, we really can achieve anything we put our minds to.

Dame Valerie has said that retirement will see her spending a lot more time with her family and continuing to coach her sister Lisa towards the next Paralympics. Who knows she may even take up golf. Now wouldn’t that be exciting!

Happy Golfing.

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