Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki's Lisa Carrington has won the prestigious Lonsdale Cup for 2016 after yet another successful year.
The 27-year-old claimed gold and bronze at the Rio Olympics, becoming the first woman to win two medals at one event. The Olympic title saw Lisa honoured with the role of New Zealand's closing ceremony flagbearer.
New Zealand Olympic Chef de Mission Rob Waddell says, “I have no doubt that there was a positive effect having an athlete of Lisa’s calibre in our Team in Rio.
Her commitment, drive, determination and results were exceptional during Games-time and this inspired not only her fellow kayakers but also the wider Olympic Team.”
Lisa has won gold at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in the K1 200 every year since 2011 (plus Olympic Gold 2012), as well as consecutive podium finishes over three years in the second of her two events, the K1 500.
Carrington felt humbled to receive the Lonsdale Cup for 2016 and passed on her thanks to New Zealanders for their ongoing support.
“It is a great privilege and honour to receive the Lonsdale award, it's not the recognition I strive for but when it does happen it's extremely humbling.
We have had amazing success this year in sport so I am proud to be a part of an amazing group of athletes.”
Carrington has been coached by Gordon Walker since late 2010 and credits his confident direction, strong teamwork and sense of trust as crucial success factors in their partnership.
“Gordy works incredibly hard to help me pursue my aspirations and I thank him greatly for that," she said.
Carrington has returned to training and is looking towards the 2017 international season which culminates in the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Wales next August.
As far as the next four years are concerned, Carrington has decided to continue paddling and, in her words, "it's because I love what I do."