Tapoki has established herself as one the country’s finest field events, having won gold medals in shot-put, discus and javelin in her long career.
She claimed her first gold almost 20 years ago in the Oceania Youth Championships in Guam, and has gone on to win more than 30 medals, most recently capturing gold in the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu this past December.
She has also featured on the Olympic stage, in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing.
But the golden girl from Mauke has more than one string to her bow, and combines her athletics career with her job as a sergeant with the Cook Islands Police Service.
And her “qualities of fearlessness and dedication will no doubt motivate her to perform to her best”, said the service.
“Face-to-face with the community is where she’s most comfortable. She relishes the work and the responsibility she carries in putting things right.
“Elite athlete or motivated police officer, Tapoki is not about to slow down on achieving because deep down the commitment to take on anything new is what helps her most.
“And perhaps that is what helps our community be safer.”