It's been a big year for Ohope golden girl Lisa Carrington.
From relative obscurity outside the canoeing community at the beginning of 2012, the 23-year-old took the world by storm when she won Olympic gold in the K1 200m in August.
It took only 44.638s for the diminutive Carrington to go down in history books as the first woman to win a medal in a kayak for New Zealand, the same amount of time for her to become a super star.
Much was said about her lack of histrionics at the end of the race, Carrington flashed the world a smile before paddling off to the podium, but it is a smile that has been seen many times since as she has graced stage after stage to collect accolade after accolade since her win.
She begins 2013 with another honour _ Carrington has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to kayaking.
Speaking from her family home at Ohope Beach, Carrington said it was an honour and a privilege to be receiving the award.
"To know the calibre of the people who have accepted New Year Honours before me, it's pretty overwhelming,'' she said.
"I got a letter from Prime Minister John Key. He said something like the honour was in recognition of what I had given back to the sport of kayaking and also what I had given back to the country.
"It was really quite special.''
Carrington said there had certainly been changes in her life since January including the overwhelming recognition she now faces where ever she goes.
"It's taken a bit of getting used to but it is nice.''
After a quiet Christmas with family, Lisa was heading "somewhere'' for New Year's Eve tonight before returning to Auckland where she would start her training again.
In February, Carrington will find out whether she is a Halberg Awards winner although her trophy shelf is already laden after winning the Supreme Award at the Waiariki Institute of Technology 2012 Bay of Plenty Sports Awards and also the Supreme Albie Pryor Memorial Sportsperson of the Year at the Maori Sports Awards also this year.