Lisa Carrington offers 'tips' and memories
Olympic and world champion paddler Lisa Carrington let a Christchurch audience in on a trade secret last night.
Carrington - guest of honour at a Sport Canterbury function - says the 12-kilogram kayak she steered to Olympic glory in London last month is so "tippy" that "everyone in this room would fall out" on their first time in the boat and that is why an enraptured New Zealand television audience did not see any arm-waving celebrations from the Kiwi at Eton Dorney - just a big, broad smile.
Carrington had a crowd spellbound at the Westpac Hub last night in a question-and-answer session with Rochelle Creighton, a former New Zealand surf life saving representative and team manager.
The K1 200m gold medallist recalled her pride on the medal dais, saying it was "quite special to be up there".
"To think [everyone in the crowd] were standing up for the New Zealand anthem . . . I tried to tell myself to soak it up and to ‘remember this, this is really special'."
She was inspired before her event while watching New Zealand single sculler Mahe Drysdale and men's pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray win gold medals at Dorney Lake.
She also "got to hold [double sculls champion] Joseph Sullivan's gold medal before my race . . .".
The 23-year-old from Whakatane left New Zealand as a relative unknown outside the close-knit kayaking community. She returned home a national hero - and had been humbled by the goodwill.
"It's been very different . . . you guys know who I am now, where you wouldn't have before. I'm naturally a bit reserved, but it's been nice having people coming up to congratulate you and say ‘we watched your race and we were there with you'."
Former All Black Dallas Seymour, a Commonwealth Games sevens gold medallist, asked the question on everyone else's mind: "Where's your medal now?"
"In my bag," Carrington replied, and Creighton duly dispatched her husband, John, a former New Zealand surf life saving international, to deliver it to the stage.
- © Fairfax NZ News