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Wednesday, August 15, 2012 2:52 PM
Valerie Adams wants to share her Olympic gold medal with all New Zealanders, and it seems they want to share it with her too - but the question is when and where?
The shot-put champion is competing in Europe and will not return until next month at the earliest.
It could also take months to strip Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk of her London medal after she tested positive for the banned steroid metenolone.
Calls are growing for a victory ceremony in New Zealand as soon as possible - even if Adams has not received her medal.
A ceremony for the 27-year-old before the All Blacks play Australia at Eden Park on Saturday week was popular online.
A parade through downtown Auckland, similar to the one held for the victorious All Blacks after the Rugby World Cup, also has been suggested.
Adams' manager, Nick Cowan, said the athlete - who is based in Switzerland - wanted to share her gold medal with everyone who had supported her.
"Everything's just been overwhelming, really."
One regret for Adams is that her family did not see her step on to the top step of the podium in London.
"The biggest thing was my family was there and I wish I could have shared that moment with them," she said last night.
Ostapchuk has appealed against the decision to strip her of her gold medal after her positive test.
Metenolone is an old-style steroid, and the 31-year-old has said only an idiot would take such an outdated drug so close to competition.
She can take her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest international body that settles disputes.
Should Ostapchuk refuse to give back the gold medal, the International Olympic Committee has spares, but they do not specify the event for which they were won.
Adams was scathing last night about her opponent.
She told TVNZ's Closeup she had nothing to say to Ostapchuk and wished her "good riddance".
"I don't want to waste any more of my energy or breath on her, or anybody that is involved with her."
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said he was open to all ideas about a victory parade, but the decision ultimately lay with Adams.
He would consider "anything, anywhere" - The Cloud, Aotea Square, Wynyard Quarter.
"Valerie is an incredible Aucklander and a great New Zealander. She missed out on being awarded gold on the podium in London, so it would fantastic if we could organise a ceremony here in her home town," said Mr Brown, who has known Adams since she was 16 and went to the same gym in Mangere as her.
Athletics New Zealand, Sport NZ and the NZ Olympic Committee said yesterday they were all determined to give Adams a fitting ceremony.
Athletics NZ spokesman Brett Anderson said Adams had been robbed of her moment of glory and it was only fitting she was given it back.
The New Zealand Herald
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