Tickets limited for medal ceremony

By Dylan Cleaver, Vaimoana Tapaleao

Select audience of 2500 will see shot-putter Valerie Adams get her Olympic gold at The Cloud on Wednesday.

Valerie Adams initially won a silver medal in London. Picture / Brett Phibbs
Valerie Adams initially won a silver medal in London. Picture / Brett Phibbs

The home-coming medal ceremony for Valerie Adams is to be held in front of a select audience of competition winners and VIPs, despite calls for a public celebration of her gold victory.

The official Olympic ceremony will be held at The Cloud, on Auckland's waterfront, next Wednesday.

Organisers have limited tickets to 2500 people, despite the venue's 5000 capacity.

About 500 have been reserved for sponsors, and 2000 will be given away in draws and competitions.

The ceremony is being jointly hosted by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and official partner ANZ.

Committee spokeswoman Ashley Abbott said several options had been considered.

"We wanted to give Valerie a ceremony that met her needs, but a critical part of that was that it wasn't too far away. We had to find a balance between those two needs," Ms Abbott said.

"It's what she wants and she's really happy about it."

A bank spokeswoman said yesterday that although it was a public ceremony, tickets had to be strictly limited for safety reasons.

Just over 2000 tickets will be given away via The Radio Network stations Classic Hits Auckland, ZM Auckland, Flava Auckland, Radio Hauraki, Radio Sport and Coast.

Each station will have its own way of distributing the tickets, whether it be in a competition or simply entering your name into a draw, for example.

ANZ is giving away 20 double passes on its Facebook page. Chief executive David Hisco said tickets had been put aside for Olympic medallists including Mahe Drysdale, Eric Murray, Olivia Powrie, Jo Aleh and Hamish Bond, their families and coaching staff.

Organisers were trying to accommodate those who would not be at the ceremony with television and internet broadcasts.

Adams will arrive in the country on Wednesday before heading to the ceremony.

The ceremony is a long-awaited occasion for Adams, who missed out on getting her gold medal in London after Belarus shot-putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk won.

She was later stripped of the gold after testing positive to a banned drug.

Adams said she was looking forward to celebrating her gold medal with the rest of the country, as well as her Olympic team-mates and family members. "A public celebration on the night I arrive back home is wonderful. It's exactly what I wanted."

- NZ Herald

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