28 Aug 2008

Hero's welcome for Olympic champion Valerie Vili

4:57 pm on 28 August 2008

Thousands of students gave Olympic gold medallist Valerie Vili a hero's welcome on Thursday morning.

The shot put champion and her coach Kirsten Hellier received rapturous applause from students at Macleans College in Auckland as they lined the school grounds to welcome her back.

Vili and Hellier work for the school as sports co-ordinators.

As a haka was performed, students held up signs saying "Welcome back, you've done us proud".

Vili thanked the students for their support, saying it was great to see them all.

She also said it was good to be a role model for students, and her success shows you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard.