Athletics: Adams on her way home

Valerie Adams arrives in Auckland tomorrow morning. Photo / Getty Images
Valerie Adams arrives in Auckland tomorrow morning. Photo / Getty Images

Valerie Adams is looking forward to a warm welcome from friends and family as well as representatives of the Tongan community when she touches down at Auckland Airport tomorrow morning.

En route to New Zealand today, Adams said she was looking forward to the celebrations.

"I can't wait to get home," she said. "I know friends and family will be waiting for me at the airport and I'm so excited about the medal ceremony. It's just what I wanted."

The shot put champion has seen the Olympic gold medal which will be presented to her at a special medal ceremony at the Cloud on Queens Wharf in Auckland tomorrow evening.

It will be the first Olympic medal ceremony held in New Zealand.

Adam's gold was last week retrieved from disgraced Belarusian rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who was stripped of the medal she won in London for testing positive for the banned substance metenolone.

Flying from London and via Los Angeles, Adams is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow morning.

"Just laid eyes on my gold medal oh how beautiful. Can't wait to have it around my neck," she tweeted this morning.

A member of the Tongan Royal Family, the Honourable Lupe'olo Halaevalu Tupou Moheofo Virginia Rose Tuita, youngest daughter of Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita of Tonga, together with representatives of the New Zealand Pacific Island Sports Association, will present Adams with traditional celebratory necklaces on her arrival to Auckland Airport tomorrow. Adams' family and close friends will also be on-hand to welcome her home.

Tomorrow night's ceremony is modelled on a traditional Olympic Medal Ceremony but also features members of Adams' family and wider community.

The Southern Cross Campus choir from Adams' former high school will lead the national anthem and Adam's eleven-year-old niece Sharne Pupuke-Robati will be the flower bearer. Fourteen London 2012 Olympic medallists will also play a role in the celebrations.

- nzherald.co.nz

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