A brief encounter with Lisa Carrington the Olympic kayaker heading to Rio to represent NZ.
How has your regime changed in the build-up to Rio?

The main thing to understand about the Olympics is that is just another day, another competition, it just happens to be one of the biggest events for my sport and many others. So I wouldn't say I have changed things as such, I have just evolved and developed step by step over the years, so when I race it isn't different to any other day.

What exercise gives you rage?
Rage? Typically I am not a very angry person, but gain empowerment by achieving things I thought I never could do. Whether it's doing a muscle-up, or reaching a max speed in my kayak, it's all about personal achievement and that is what makes me proud.

How do you deal with being deprived of something you love?
It's all about making better choices, so I don't like to think I deprive myself of something, I just have it less or when I like to reward myself. Because it isn't a treat if you have it all the time and I love treats, e.g. chocolate and icecream.

What's the single greatest piece of advice have you been given in the last year?
I am lucky because I have great mentors who are always giving me advice, but a great one is something that I have just understood and it is a quote from Sir Ed, "It is not the mountain we conquer, it is ourselves."

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What do you think when you hear reports on Rio's pollution? Is it dispiriting?
Hearing that there is pollution in Rio isn't great, but it is an issue that is completely out of my hands. The only thing I can really influence is my own performance. I have great people around me who are well aware of the issues and are putting things in place so I don't have to become distracted with the issue.

What do you observe (when you have time to focus on things other than training) about our waterways?
We are very lucky in New Zealand that our waterways and lakes are clean and also set in beautiful locations. So I am lucky to see a version of the country that some people may not be able to see.

How do you deal with the expectations of others?
I don't think anyone else has expectations as high as my own. While people may predict or expect great results from me, I believe that a result isn't all that I am working for.

What is your favourite word or phrase in te reo?
Mana. This one word carries a powerful feeling and meaning. It is a word that encompasses many things that depicts what I am doing.

How did growing up in a small East Coast town [Ohope Beach] shape you?
Growing up in a small town and being by the beach was a huge privilege. The beach was my playground and having a supportive community is special.

What is your mantra, in sport and in life?
Something that I live by in sport and in life is always to remember to take in what's around me and smell the roses.

When you go overseas, what's important for you to experience in order to connect with a place or its people?
I love to visit the local cafes and restaurants or food markets. Food is an important part of every culture, so to experience a culture's food is a great way to connect to the people and the place.

Lisa Carrington leaves New Zealand today for the Rio Olympics.