Golden girl keen for ‘coffee and burgers’
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 1:19p.m.
By Imogen Crispe
Kayaker Lisa Carrington arrived in Auckland today, the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal for the K1 200m canoe sprint.
Carrington, 23, was greeted by friends and family and presented with flowers after her plane landed about 10:15am.
She says she is glad to be back in New Zealand and can’t wait to have some New Zealand food.
"I'm looking forward to a really good coffee and Burger Fuel will be great."
Carrington spent some time in Spain after the Games at the beach, but she says she's glad to be back in New Zealand and plans to just relax.
"Being in my own flat and having my own car and being able to talk to everyone... just knowing everyone and being able to see my friends and family."
But she wasn't sure when she would start training again.
"I don't know when I'll get back in the boat."
She is still on a high from her gold win and remembers vividly the moment of winning her final race.
"I finished the race, looked around and I'd won."
Carrington is also elated to be the first woman to win gold in the event, as this year is the first time it has featured in the Olympics.
“It’s really cool, I didn’t think about it before the race, so that will always be cool.”
In her semi-final race Carrington also set an Olympic record for the race of 40.528s, but because of a headwind won the final with a time of 44.638s.
In second place was Ukaranian Inna Osypenko-Rodonska with a time of 45.053, and in third, Hungarian Natasa Douchev-Janics with a time of 45.128.
Overall she enjoyed her time competing in the Olympics.
"I think it was a great experience, it was really cool coming into the Olympic village," says Carrington.
And she wasn't too worried about the Games being over.
“I don’t really think it’s sunk in yet.
"I think it will be fine. I'm always looking forward to the next thing."
Members of Carrington’s family came up to Auckland from Ohope to greet her, including two sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles and her parents.
Her mum Glynis Carrington could not wait to welcome her home.
“We admire her so much what she’s done, her hard work and dedication, we’re very excited to see her again.”
Ms Carrington and her husband were over in London to see Carrington compete.
“It was wonderful, the excitement in the stand, friends and family around us, cheering her on," she says. "It was the most exciting experience that we’ve experienced.”
She says her daughter was well-prepared for the race, even though she had only been racing in the specialist event for 18 months.
“When we met with her she was calm and focused, she looked as if she was in control. The heats and semi-finals indicated that she was progressing through very strongly and we knew she had a real chance.”
And Ms Carrington says Lisa has always been determined to do well.
“Lisa’s always wanted to do the best she can, and that since she was tiny whatever she does it will be her very best.”
She has always been into sport, and surf lifesaving was what got her into kayaking.
“We just encouraged her to play as many sports as she could experience,” says Ms Carrington.
Carrington doesn’t have any solid plans for her ongoing training, but says she will probably have at least a month off to recover.
She will be in Christchurch on Friday where the New Zealand Olympians will be welcomed back.
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