Adams tells of gold-medal pain

Gold medallist Valerie Adams. Photo / Greg Bowker
Gold medallist Valerie Adams. Photo / Greg Bowker

Gold medallist Valerie Adams has revealed the pain that littered her path to Olympic glory this year.

In her autobiography due out on Tuesday, the shot put champion tells of her former husband Bertrand Vili's fondness for alcohol and how he hurt himself when he wrote off a Holden V8 car two days before the 2006 Halberg sports awards - a night that should have been the best of her life.

"He was 399 micrograms per litre of breath, which was one microgram under the alcohol limit," she said in Valerie.

After she and her husband split, the relationship also soured with Kirsten Hellier, the coach who had been like a parent to her since she was 15. Hellier guided her to Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008.

In the book Adams reveals when she learned of Hellier's plans to quit as her coach in 2010, she took her manager and lawyer to a meeting - to no avail. They've barely spoken since.

In an extract exclusive to the Herald on Sunday, Adams tells how she seriously injured her back this year - just 16 days before the London Olympics.

Her new coach, Jean Marie Egger, said he did not know if she could make it but she calls herself "a stubborn cow" with faith in her ability to recover.

The day she threw second to the Belarussian Nadzeya Ostapchuk in London was one of the most emotionally draining of her life. The news a week later that Ostapchuk had been disqualified for doping changed her life.

Valerie was written with veteran sports journalist Phil Gifford, who describes it as the most honest and candid autobiography he has worked on.

- Herald on Sunday

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