Dame Valerie Adams DNZM is a four-time World champion, four-time World Indoor champion, two-time Olympic champion, three-time Commonwealth Games champion and also an Olympic silver medallist and bronze medallist. She has a personal best throw of 21.24 metres outdoors and 20.54 m indoors. These marks are Oceanian, Commonwealth and New Zealand national records. She also holds the World Championships record, World Indoor Championships record and Commonwealth Games record.

Dame Valerie first represented New Zealand at the 1999 IAAF World Youth Championships in Bydgozcz, Poland at age 15. She became the third woman to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletics event. She was the first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the IAAF World Championships. While still a teenager, Adams was a finalist at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics and the 2004 Summer Olympics.

She would go on to dominate the Shot-Put event for the following decade, going unbeaten in competitions from her first World Cup victory in Athens until September 2014.

In 2017, Adams was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her contribution to sport and athletics.

Over the latter part of Adams career, she has been a representative on the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission, since 2015 and has been instrumental in setting up and being the inaugural chair of both Athletics New Zealand and Oceania Athletics’ Athletes Commission.

As a further contribution to athletics, Adams has initiated a successful coaching career, coaching her sister Lisa to a Tokyo Paralympics gold medal and Paralympic record.

Dame Valerie Adams is a most worthy recipient of the OAA Merit Award.