Dame Valerie Adams flagbearer for closing ceremony
Dame Valerie Adams has been named New Zealand Team Closing Ceremony flagbearer - Te Pou Hapai - for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 36-year-old is a two-time Olympic champion having won gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. She won silver at Rio 2016.
Competing in her fifth Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, Dame Valerie threw 19.62m to win the bronze medal.
“It’s an incredible honour to be named as the New Zealand flag bearer for tonight’s Closing Ceremony,” says Dame Valerie.
“To represent our team and Aotearoa tonight as we close these Games together means a lot to me and my family. One day when my children Kimoana and Kepaleli understand what their Mum does I hope they will be just as proud of this significant moment too.”
The flagbearer is chosen by the New Zealand Olympic Team Chef de Mission taking into account a wide range of factors including past performances, ability to lead and inspire New Zealand athletes, competition preparation and performance standards.
Other factors for deciding on the flagbearer include that they haven't been flag bearer before, they embody the values and manaaki of the New Zealand Team, and have represented New Zealand with pride at multiple Olympic Games.
“It’s fair to say Tokyo 2020 will go down in history, the success of these Games is an absolute testament to the people of Japan who enabled us to safely come together and inspire and unite the world. Arigatō gozaimasu,” says Dame Valerie.
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Rob Waddell paid tribute to Dame Valerie.
“We asked Dame Valerie to carry the New Zealand flag and lead our team at the Closing Ceremony as she perfectly represents the values and culture of the New Zealand Team,” says Rob.
“Dame Valerie is an incredible athlete who has represented New Zealand to an extremely high standard for around 20 years.
“She’s a fantastic leader of this team and I’m looking forward to watching her carry our flag for the first time at the Olympic Games.”
Dame Valerie will follow in the footsteps of other Closing Ceremony flagbearers including Lisa Carrington in Rio, Mahé Drysdale in London, and Caroline and Georgina Evers Swindell in Beijing.
The Closing Ceremony begins at 8pm Japan time.