‘Once I start, I find it hard to stop’: Lisa Carrington on one of her rare weaknesses

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Joe Caird

“As an athlete, you always have to eat the right foods at the right times to refuel.”

To see Dame Lisa Carrington plowing through the water is truly something. His paddle an urgent rhythmic blur, his canoe travels so fast, you can almost imagine him towing a water skier.

Born in Tauranga, raised in Ōhope, of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki and Ngāti Porou descent, Carrington is New Zealand’s most successful Olympian, having won five gold medals and one bronze.

Nicknamed “the (greatest of all time) GOAT in the boat”, Carrington was recently named the most influential Maori sports personality of the past 30 years and was named Dame in the New Year Honors List. 2022.

She married longtime partner Michael Buck earlier this year and lives in Auckland, where she will lead the floats for this year’s Farmers Santa Parade on Sunday November 27. “The Santa Parade is iconic,” she says. to be this year’s grand marshal is really exciting. Can’t wait to see everyone and help start the countdown to Christmas.

READ MORE:
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* Lisa Carrington becomes a Dame, but it’s full steam ahead for Paris 2024 as the kayaking star yearns for more
* Carrington takes top honors as the first supreme winner of the Massey Blues award

I wish, 10 years ago, I would have known…

Don’t worry too much about what people think. I’m probably still learning about this, to be honest, but it was even truer back then. So much energy is wasted caring about other people’s opinions and what you look like and trying too hard to fit in. It can be exhausting. I prefer to put that energy into working on my own self-acceptance.

I wish I could trade lives with…

Our dog Colin. He is a Cavoodle, which is a cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He has a good life. He is always relaxing and snacking. Everyone adores him, he has no work to do. Yesterday he thought I wasn’t playing with him enough, so he grabbed a sock from one of my sneakers and attacked him for ages and teased me with it. I envy her life sometimes. He’s just very happy all the time.

The goat (largest of all time) in the boat, Lisa Carrington.

JUAN ZARAMA PERINI/Stuff

The goat (largest of all time) in the boat, Lisa Carrington.

I wish I could eat every day…

Chocolate. As an athlete, you always need to eat the right foods at the right times to refuel. We train a lot and burn a lot of energy, and you always think, “what’s the work we’re going to do today, and what’s the best nutrition for that?” But even so, if there’s a block of chocolate left in the fridge, once I start, I find it hard to stop.

I wish I could live in…

Ōhope, where I grew up. My parents still live there, and we also have accommodation there, so I’m going back as soon as I can. I love the beach and the fishing, and you can surf, and it’s really quiet and low key. I also like to visit places like Hawaii, Spain and Portugal, but to live full time, it’s Ōhope all the way.

The person I would like to see on a banknote is…

Yvette Williams. She was our first women’s gold medalist at the Olympics in 1952 for the long jump. She was a pioneer of women’s sport in this country and a true inspiration. She definitely paved the way for athletes like me.

The noise I wish I would never hear again is…

The seagulls hanging around our place in Ōhope. They perch on the corner of our roof and scream and scream all day! They make such a racket – it’s really annoying. They also rush at you when you are in the aisle and sometimes try to take your food.

I would like to spend a Sunday with…

My family, really, because I don’t often. My parents, my husband, my brothers, all going on a little adventure together, that would be great. A coastal walk, fishing, maybe surfing. I always like something a little active, rather than just sitting around talking and having a cup of tea.

I wish New Zealand was more…

Open and accepting and non-judgmental. I wish we celebrated difference more I guess and just let people be themselves.

Lisa’s quick shots:

MORNING PERSON or NIGHT

NOVEL or BIOGRAPHY

TEA or COFFEE

MERRY CHRISTMAS or BAH HUMBUG

SPREAD IT or AT THE CINEMA

GOLD or BRONZE

WINE or THE WATER

PLAYLIST or ENTIRE ALBUM

RIVER or OCEAN

The BEATLES or BEYOND

SNEAKERS or HEELS

TO COOK or GARDEN

RESIDENCE or TRAVEL

SPRING or AUTUMN

MUSEUM or ART GALLERY

FASHION WEEK or ARTS FESTIVAL

CHOCOLATE or CHEESE

ROAD TRIP or CITY HOLIDAYS

SUNRISE or SUNSET

APPLE or pear

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