“Stay on top of your sport” – Valerie Adams to local athletes & administrators


Valerie Adams promoting healthy eating to young Samoan people during her two day visit to Samoa this week

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 04 NOVEMBER 2016: New Zealand’s Olympic gold medalist and Sports Ambassador, Valerie Adams is encouraging local sports administrators and athletes to stay on top of their sport.

Arriving yesterday afternoon, she spent her welcoming reception at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s resident last night, answering questions from various sports personnel seeking her advice and techniques having won 3 gold medals and silver in four Olympics.

Facilitating the Q&A programme last night was former All Blacks winger and double international Tuigamala Va’aiga Tuigamala.

Adams response was based on various factors that include staying focused, a healthy lifestyle, patience, humbleness and confidence. Christianity and self-belief also plays a role in her success.

“Believe in yourself and have patience to endure and work through any frustration,” she said.

President of the Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork wanted to how a person that is almost at the top of their competition deals with pressures around them.

“Tunnel vision is what I do,” said Adams. “The best way to deal with such a situation is to stay focused on the narrow road in the tunnel, forget about what’s around and walk towards the light right at the end.”

“Draw a circle and focus on what’s inside, blocking everything outside the circle from your mind,” said Adams.

She said it is not easy, but the idea is not to lose focus.

The Q & A programme with former All Black Vaaiga Tuigamala facilitating and Valerie answering questions from sports personnel

The Q & A facilitated by with former All Black and double international Tuigamala Vaaiga Tuigamala

For a small island like Samoa, she said sports bodies need to work together to build a strong team rather than going out on your own.

“Use whatever limited resources you have to the best of your ability,” she said. “There will always be issues, but a strong team work, will resolve it.”

Her journey towards the Rio Olympic was not a smooth one, as she had undergone two surgeries in 2015 on her arms, which brought the numbers of surgeries she had to six.

She was in a dark hole, and she struggled to get out of that hole and she turned on her “tunnel vision” radar that helped her prepare for Rio.

“I lost confidence then I reminded myself to heal.”

The set goal for every athlete is to win and the Rio Olympics was very difficult for Adams.

“As much as we want to win, we cherish every moment, and I respect Michelle Carter,” said Adams.

Carter from the USA won gold in Rio after competing against Adams for a long time. “And this is her moment,” said Adams.

Appointed as New Zealand’s Sports Ambassador to the Pacific, Adams arrived late yesterday afternoon then visited the Prosthetic & Orthotic Clinic at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.

She also visited a Community Health Project at Saoluafata this morning then attended a round table forum with women in sports and administrators.

She also conducted a sports clinic for promising athletes at Apia Part stadium, then visited the traditional voyaging vaka, Gaualofa before returning to New Zealand in the evening.

Valeri posing with the Minister for Health Tuitama Leao Tuitama, Associate Minister, Prosthetic & Orthopetic and members of the Ministry of Health

Valerie with the Minister for Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, the Associate Minister, Salausa Dr. Ah Ching and staff at the Prosthetic & Orthopetic Unit of the National Hospital, Moto’otua.