Reigning Olympic, Commonwealth and World Champion Valerie Adams has been named flag bearer for the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team to Glasgow 2014.
At a ceremony in the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in central Glasgow, attended by more than 300 members of the New Zealand team, Chef de Mission Rob Waddell draped the New Zealand flag around a beaming Adams’ shoulders to the applause of her team mates.
Waddell said Adams would represent New Zealand with honour at the XX Commonwealth Games and he was delighted to present her with the New Zealand flag ahead of the Opening Ceremony tomorrow night.
“Valerie is arguably New Zealand’s greatest sportsperson and a true inspiration, especially to young people. Not only is she an outstanding athlete, she’s also an outstanding New Zealander,” he said.
“She’s the reigning Olympic, Commonwealth and world champion and remains unbeaten over 53 consecutive competitions.
“While competing at the highest level, she works with young athletes and spends considerable time with children, encouraging them to succeed.”
Waddell added that the role of the flag bearer is to represent and inspire the team as well as inspire New Zealanders to excel. “Valerie will carry out this important role with honour.”
Adams, who arrived in Glasgow from a pre-Games training camp in Cardiff for the occasion, said she was very proud to be named the flag bearer.
“The Commonwealth Games is a special event and it's going to be so exciting for myself and my teammates to be part of the opening and I'm very honoured and humbled to be leading New Zealand in with our flag."
With 53 consecutive wins under her belt, Adams also has two Olympic gold medals, two Commonwealth gold medals and four successive world titles to her name. She is a four-times Lonsdale Cup winner and three time overall Halberg Award winner.
Adams will lead the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team into the Celtic Park Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on 23 July.
Adams competes in women’s shotput on 30th July at the Hampden Park athletics stadium in Glasgow.
About Valerie Adams
Olympic Champion 2008, 2012
World Champion 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
World Indoor Champion 2008, 2012, 2014
Commonwealth Champion 2006, 2010
Continental Cup Champion 2010
IAAF Diamond League Champion 2011, 2012, 2013
Unbeaten since August 2010 (53 competitions)
Multiple finalist in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) female athlete of the year.
Sportswoman of the Year category at the Halberg Awards every year from 2006-12
Three times (2007-09) the overall winner of the Halberg Award.
She has also won the Lonsdale Cup, awarded annually by the New Zealand Olympic Committee, four times.
In 2009 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).
Glasgow 2014 is Adams’ fourth Commonwealth Games (2002 – silver, 2006 – 2010 gold)
Will wear an especially hand-crafted pendant. Carved with the puhoro design, this pendant represents speed and dexterity, determination, commitment, and leadership. Gifted as part of the flag bearer announcement ceremony
About the Flagbearer
The role of the flagbearer is to represent and inspire the team and also inspire New Zealanders to excel.
The athlete is selected by the Chef de Mission in conjunction with members of the athlete support team. The decision is always tough with a number of athletes within the team that make New Zealanders proud and that have outstanding performance histories.
At the event the flag bearer will be presented with a gift to wear in the ceremony and be draped in the New Zealand flag. Please note, the cloak is only used at Olympic Games.
The flag bearer will lead the New Zealand delegation at the Opening Ceremony.