Olympic sporting legend Dame Valerie Adams has announced she's putting her shotputs down, after two decades competing.
The 37-year-old mum-of-two was tearful making her announcement today in Auckland, sharing that she considered continuing to compete after the Tokyo, but knew it was time to walk away from the sport.
"I took some time to really process this thought to see if it was something I actually wanted to do again," she told reporters.
My heart, mind and body simply answered the question for me, so it is time for me to call it a day.
Dame Valerie Adams has won numerous medals in her career. She won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, a silver medal at Rio Olympics 2016 and grabbed a bronze at last year's Tokyo Olympics.
She's also a four time world champion, a three-time Commonwealth Games champion, and was named Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 New Year Honours list.
“Representing Aotearoa for the last 22 years has given me so much joy. As my life's work, I'm humbled to show little New Zealand has what it takes to be the best in the world,” she said.
“I have given my heart and soul to this sport, loved and nurtured it from a young age, watched it grow as a girl to now a woman, fully grown. It is beautiful and exciting, at times hard and unforgiving, but always honest, ever-inquiring.
To all those who dare lift the shot, I'm looking at you, girl.
“Do so with my blessing, as it has been given to me, I also give to you strength and courage, there is the dream good and true, take it.”
“It's pretty hard, but I know in my heart it's the right thing [to retire]. I'm very happy and at peace with today's announcement and it's taken some time to get to this stage. It's always hard, this is all I've known ... that transition is going to take some time but I'm ready for it and looking forward to the next challenge, whatever that may be.”