SIX weeks after the Olympic shotput final, Valerie Adams has finally received her gold medal.
On an emotional night in downtown Auckland, a weeping Adams was presented with her medal by Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, and watched as the New Zealand flag was raised.
Around 2500 people were in attendance to see her win the medal that was hung around the neck of drug cheat Nadzeya Ostapchuk.
On little sleep, and having been in the country less than a day, she got her second Olympic gold medal, Fairfax NZ reported.
“I’m excited and overwhelmed, I tried to hold it together up there and I think I did a pretty good job. It was emotional to say the least,” Adams said.
“It’s been such an honour to share this moment with my family, my friends and New Zealand.”
Adams acknowledged absent coach Jean-Pierre Egger with a “merci”, and threw flowers to the front rows of the crowd, including members of the Tongan royal family.
Sir Jerry congratulated Adams “on behalf of all New Zealanders”.
Fellow Olympic champions Mahe Drysdale, Hamish Bond, Eric Murray and Lisa Carrington were there to share the evening.
The ceremony was concluded with a firework display, capping NZ’s 13-medal winning Olympic effort of six gold, two silver and five bronze.
“It’s been a very humbling evening and it’s been one hell of a year,” Adams said. “My party starts now.”