winning last night's gold medal on her FIRST throw, valerie is an ex-world junior champion, who won gold medal the 2007 world championships. at 23 years young she has overcome a rough upbringing and the death of both her parents, which makes her achievement all the more incredible.
i'm proud to call her a fellow kiwi.
not even a rampant case of 'beijing belly', and a 4kg weight loss in 7 days could stop our mighty mahe from claiming new zealand's first medal at the 2008 olympics. dramatic scenes followed his race finish, and you can read about them here.
then our golden girls, twin sisters caroline and georgina evers-swindell won gold in a photo finish; defending their olympic title from athens in 2004.