New Year Honours: Lisa Carrington, MNZM

By Michael Brown

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to kayaking .

Lisa Carrington. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Lisa Carrington. Photo / Brett Phibbs

In the space of about 40 seconds in August, Lisa Carrington's life changed.

She went from being a world champion canoe sprint racer who had a small profile in New Zealand to a household name after winning gold in the K1 200m at the London Olympics.

It has taken time to adjust to her new status. If she's not being stopped in the street by strangers and asked for an autograph or invited to attend functions, she can see herself as one of the new faces of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand advertising campaign.

Her place in the world will step up another level after she was recognised in the New Year Honours. She was 2012 Maori Sportsperson of the Year and is a strong contender to take out the next Halberg Sportswoman of the Year title.

"It's definitely been different," said Carrington, from Ohope Beach near Whakatane. "And hard. But I guess that's what comes with winning a gold medal because you become a bit of public property. It's something that comes with the territory. It's been cool, a great journey.

"I didn't realise what it would mean to the country.

"Obviously I thought really great things of our past gold medallists but you don't know how they feel until you are in their shoes.

"It has surprised me how many people tell me they stayed up to watch my race, which makes me feel pretty special to know they would do that."

- APNZ

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