Shot put queen Valerie Adams explains to SPIKES why her coach JP and the sport of athletics mean so much to her.

Val on coach Jean-Pierre Egger…

"When I asked him to coach me, he was already successful. He knew what he was doing. Not just in track and field. He had been a coach for the sailing team at the Americas Cup, and also the French basketball team. 

"I’m very lucky. He doesn’t only look at me like an athlete, he views me as a person, and because I’m based in Switzerland most of the time, he looks after my wellbeing first and foremost.

"He also brings his knowledge to training, and what we need to do. I have a lot of respect for the man. I love him as a father, and we just have that great bond.

"He’s just such a humble man, which makes a big difference. He doesn’t have a big ego or anything like that. He’s just a down-to-earth, chilled out, 70-year-old, awesome coach."

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Super Mario land: Adams getting some tips from JP in March 2013 in Auckland.

"For me anyway, a personal relationship and an emotional relationship does help with the whole scenario. This is how we function in New Zealand, and I’m happy that Jean-Pierre is that type of man as well.

"He picked me up at a terrible stage in my career and my life in 2010, and shaped me into what I am today. I’m very thankful to him for saving me in the last three years, and the results that we’ve been able to achieve together."

Val on athletics…

"Athletics has definitely saved me in a lot of ways. From losing my mother, to having to look after myself, to having to go through a divorce, and changing coaches.

"I’m quite lucky to have track and field in my life. It is my life."

"But it’s also my love and my passion, which makes a big difference.

"A lot of things have happened but track and field has always been there, from the very start right up until now. It’s a saving grace for me, where I come to let some steam off. I go to training to grieve… When I go to training, it’s like my stress relief.

Shot put GOAT Valerie Adams was shortlisted for world athlete of the year for an amazing FOURTH time this year. She’s also won each of the last SIX world and Olympic finals.