With the dust settled on the Rio 2016 Games, New Zealand's star Olympic and Paralympic athletes are back home and slotting into everyday life - and, enjoying the benefits of medal success.

With her shot put season done, triple Olympic medallist Valerie Adams and Gabriel Price finally have a chance to take their honeymoon, almost half a year after they got married.

"It feels pretty damn good to be in an airport knowing we're not going to another competition, we're not heading off for more training, but we're going to a week in Rarotonga where we'll be doing absolutely sweet 'eff' all," Adams said.

"Not only is this our honeymoon, it's my first holiday in three years. Even in the month after Rio, it's been non-stop. I had four competitions straight after the Olympics, sponsor commitments, community duties... There's been no time to wind-down.


"To actually have a holiday is foreign territory. And it feels really good."

Arriving home last Friday, this is also the first time in three years Adams' post-season has not involved going under the knife, and inevitably, painstaking work to rehabilitate her body.

Instead of a scalpel, Adams is thinking about a snorkel.

"We're staying somewhere private, on the water and I'm not going to do any work apart from my colouring book, read some trashy magazines, swim and sleep," she said.

"It's been a mad rush since I got home a week ago and I haven't really seen Gabriel, so this week in Rarotonga is going to give us some good time to spend together. He deserves it, he's been so supportive when I've been under the biggest pressure."

While Adams is no stranger to the benefits and increased demands of medal success, other Kiwi athletes have found themselves thrust into the limelight almost overnight from their performances in Brazil.

Paralympic sprinter Liam Malone says no one was talking about him heading into Rio. But after three medals, including 200m and 400m gold, he says the hard work on and off the track must continue - including polishing off a double major in marketing and international business at Victoria University.

"I've got assignments to do now, my final two papers and then exams next, it's going to be tough. It'd be a real shame to come this far and not finish," Malone said.

"I also have nationals coming up and my goal is to break the able-bodied national 400m record which is 46.09. I ran 46.20 in Rio and had five races before that, including one the night before, so I think that's definitely on the cards."

Financial rewards are also about to make Malone's life much easier, as well as having a manager.

"Money and sponsorship will also start coming in. That's going to be a big difference as I've been working off nothing for three years.

"I'm keen for my manager to try and get me a car because mine broke down in the supermarket carpark on Thursday."

Olympic bronze medal winner Eliza McCartney returned to training this week. Photo / Photosport
Olympic bronze medal winner Eliza McCartney returned to training this week. Photo / Photosport

Two other names to leap into the public fray have been Timaru trap shooter Natalie Rooney and Auckland pole vaulter Eliza McCartney.

McCartney says she has been bowled over by the reaction of the Kiwi public.

"It has been really different but it's so exciting. People just come up to me and tell me how inspired they were. It's a really, really special thing to have a complete stranger tell you something like that," McCartney said.

Having taken a short break, McCartney returned to training this week with her sights already set on the next four years of her life.

"I'm going to be training fulltime, I have been studying but it's been very much a part-time thing. I'm beginning to work for the next Olympics now, with the world championships next year, the Commonwealth Games the year after, so we've got the plan sorted already."

Rooney, meanwhile, was the first Kiwi to win a medal at Rio 2016 and says she "can't really go anywhere without being stopped a few times" since she fired her way to silver.

The daughter of rich lister Gary Rooney, the new Olympic medallist paid tribute to her father - pledging she'll return to help out with the family business as soon as she can.

"I'm lucky I have my dad. He's been very supportive of me and I don't think anyone else would employ me because of the amount of time I need away from work to train," Rooney said.

"I haven't been at my job lately and I'm away again on Monday, heading to Italy for the World Cup final which I qualified for from my performance at the Olympics, it's an event only 12 shooters get invited to, so I've been trying to re-focus on doing well there as well."

Work is top of mind for others though, like shot put bronze medallist Tom Walsh - who has already gone back to his day job to get his mind away from throwing for a while.

After a deserved week off, the down-to-earth carpenter was back on site in Christchurch on Monday - albeit after a special request from the gaffer.

"The boss called me before I started and said 'what are you doing Monday?' So I said 'I'm meant to be working, Mike.' He wanted me to drop into his kids' school in the morning," Walsh said.

"It's pretty interesting going back to work and getting back into the swing of things - getting used to it being freezing cold outside. I don't have to work, but everything is going well, so why change it.

"I think it's good for me to have something other than throwing shot in my life and at the moment building is working. It's fitting in nicely and not taking away too much."