Olympic gold medalist canoe racer Caitlin Regal announces retirement

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Lisa Carrington, left, and Caitlin Regal with their Tokyo Olympics gold medals

Adam Jolie/Getty Images

Lisa Carrington, left, and Caitlin Regal with their Tokyo Olympics gold medals

Gold medalist canoe racer Caitlin Regal has announced that she is retiring from the sport.

The 29-year-old announced her retirement via Instagram, saying she was “moving on to another part of my life journey”.

Regal (née Ryan) won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in August with Lisa Carrington in the K2 500m.

She and Carrington also won gold in the K2 500 at the 2017 world championships in the Czech Republic and she won a bronze medal in the K4 500 there.

Caitlin Regal in action at the Tokyo Olympics

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Caitlin Regal in action at the Tokyo Olympics

“I will take home so many memories with so many great people along the way. My kayaking career had its turmoil, but from those experiences and learnings, I became not just an Olympic gold medalist, but an even better version of myself,” she said.

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She credited her coaches and support staff who “believed in me at times when I didn’t.”

“I can’t thank you enough for the time and energy invested in my career,” she said.

Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Regal won gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Adam Jolie/Getty Images

Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Regal won gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

“To my teammates who have given me more laughs than (sic) most people have in a lifetime, with whom I have shared more tears than anyone else and with whom I had the honor to train, paddle and celebrate and who will always be my friends on this new journey, thank you for making my job so much better.

Regal also thanked her family and friends and said she looked forward to catching up on missing events and “big life milestones.”

“I hope you follow my new journey which is just as difficult but just as epic,” she said.

Paddle partner Lisa Carrington described Regal’s career as an “epic journey”.

“You have been an amazing training partner and teammate, pushing me to reach my potential. So thank you my friend for all your support,” Carrington said in an Instagram post.

Regal first competed on the international stage at the 2013 World Under-23 Championships in Canada, just seven months after taking up the sport.

She won gold at the 2015 World Cup in Portugal in the K4 500m and silver in the K2 500m.

In the same year, she set the world’s fastest time of 1:46.576 for the K1 500m in Hungary in preparation for the World Cup.

Regal made her first Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 in the K4 500m alongside Jaimee Lovett, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher. The team finished fifth.

In 2018, she obtained silver medals in K2 500 and K4 500 at the world championships in Portugal.

Regal is also a decorated surf lifesaver, having won several national titles.

Canoe Racing New Zealand posted on Instagram, thanking Regal for the memories.

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