Olympic Gold Medal Ceremony in Auckland

Tonight, an Olympic Gold Medal for the Women’s Shot Put was presented to Valerie Adams in Auckland. She arrived back in New Zealand from overseas this morning.

At the time of the shot put event in London, Valerie was placed second. However, a week later, we learnt the news that the winner, Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus, failed a drug test. She said that her coach put drugs in her food and she did not know about it. Her country has banned her from competing in world events for a year. However, if the Olympic Committee does not believe the story that the coach was to blame, she may be banned for two years.

The ceremony tonight was very emotional for Valerie Adams. Other New Zealand gold medal winners joined her on the stage. The Governor-General made a speech and then presented her with the medal. Students from her old school sang the New Zealand National Anthem. The New Zealand flag was raised over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

After the ceremony, there was a fireworks display over Auckland Harbour. The ceremony was shown on a large screen on the waterfront in Wellington and a fireworks display followed over Wellington Harbour.

Valerie will stay in New Zealand for the next two months to relax before going overseas again.


ban – forbid, not allow (often used in the passive e.g. she was banned)
blame – his fault (idiom: he was to blame)


Do you think a ceremony like this in your own country is better than receiving the gold medal at the Olympics?
What is the daily life of a top athlete like when he or she is training? What do they have to give up?
What kind of personality does a top athlete need to have?

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