New Zealand shot put star Valerie Adams has won the New Zealand Olympic Committee's Lonsdale Cup for a record fifth time
Adams has secured the prestigious award for an unprecedented fifth time after remaining unbeaten throughout 2014. She took gold at both the World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games and also secured her position as overall winner of the Diamond League for the fourth consecutive time with a record 56 wins.
The 30-year-old was also the flag bearer for the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team this year in Glasgow.
The Lonsdale Cup goes to the athlete or team who made the most outstanding contribution to Olympic or Commonwealth sport in the preceding year.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith highlighted Adams' commitment to youth and sport, as well as her performance on the field.
"Valerie's achievements inspire millions of New Zealanders. She is also very engaged with young Kiwis, encouraging them to be active and healthy," said Smith.
"Her success on the world's stage speaks for itself and her ability to remain at the top of her game is testament to her sheer determination to excel."
Adams herself was honoured to receive the Lonsdale Cup after a challenging year. "This is such a privilege and honour and I am very humbled," she said.
"While it's been a difficult year for me this year, there have been some special highs along the way including the honour of carrying the New Zealand flag at the Commonwealth Games. Receiving the Lonsdale Cup is another highlight for me this year. I really want to thank the New Zealand Olympic Committee for this special award."
Adams won the Lonsdale Cup in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013 and was the first person to be awarded the award for a third, fourth and fifth time.
The Cup was first presented in 1961 to Sir Murray Halberg. Since then it has been awarded to outstanding New Zealand athletes including Sir John Walker, Sir Peter Snell, Barbara Kendall and Rob Waddell.
The Cup is sterling silver and of historic value, having its origins in a 1911 sporting festival between the United Kingdom, Canada and Australasia held to honour the accession of George V.
The Lonsdale Cup winner is selected by New Zealand Olympic President's Council (business and sporting leaders) and the New Zealand Olympic Committee Board.