‘Run over by a bus’: Dame Valerie Adams opens up about parenting challenge as she gets first Covid jab

Dame Valerie Adams has opened up about the challenges of caring for a child with a chronic health condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Parents in my situation would understand how difficult it is, mentally, emotionally … it’s almost like you have been run over by a bus and have got a newborn baby again,” Adams said as she received her first dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine this morning.

Adams is mum to two children – 3-year-old daughter Kimoana and 2-year-old son Kepaleli – with husband Gabriel Price. Kepaleli was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year when he was just 15 months old.

“The unknown of how to deal with a child with Type 1 diabetes, especially being diagnosed quite young … but we have got it under control … it does take a village to combat it because we never get a holiday from Type 1 diabetes.”

Before getting the Covid jab in Mt Wellington, Auckland this morning, Adams told health officials she was “pretty excited”.

“Oh that wasn’t even sore… felt nothing,” she said before crediting her nurse.

Adams was full of jokes for the vaccinators.

“I sing when I get this done, so don’t judge me,” she said.

When pulling up her sleeve, Adams said “now you get to see my biceps”.

When a health official asked the Olympic gold medalist for her name, she replied “queen of Tonga”. The health official replied “sorry I can’t put that”.

Adams is one of a “small number” of Olympians to get the vaccine before travelling to the Tokyo Games later this year.

She said her personal opinion was that the vaccine should be mandatory for Olympians.

“Ultimately people needed to be well-informed, they need to get the right information from the right sources before they make a decision.”

She said the reason she got her vaccine publicly was because she wanted to use her voice to encourage Pacific communities to get the vaccine. “I have a responsibility.”

Adams will travel to Europe next month to compete so that she is in a better position going into the Tokyo Games – her fifth Olympics.

“Being here in New Zealand, we are about to go into winter and not having the competition has been very difficult not only for myself but for a lot of athletes.”

She has been training with fellow Olympian shot putter Tom Walsh under coach Dale Stevenson in Christchurch since late last year.

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