Where do you start with the Olympic GOAT?
Not only did Carrington become New Zealand’s greatest ever Olympic athlete, but she did it with such dominance, you often forgot – with the utmost respect to her competitors – that she was up against the best in the world.
With a staggering five golds to her name, the Whakatane local has now won a total of six medals.
Medals aside, her longevity is something to be marvelled at. With gold in three successive Olympics dating back to London 2012, the 32-year-old has also hinted at kicking on through to Paris 2024.
After winning every Halberg Sportswoman of the Year award since 2016, you can be sure to add another one to that list, which is, in itself, a remarkable achievement.
Simply, a national treasure.
The true answer is Lisa Carrington, but I dare to be different and, at a time when mental health and the safety of our athletes is so important, I’m paying tribute to three very brave women.metasports
Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine all took time away from their sport to look after themselves, and they deserve credit for that. Two – Ekenasio and Devine – are captains of national sides, and the public don’t understand all the responsibilities and pressure that comes with that role.
Often the media is willing to throw a player or two under the bus without realising the consequences – we are all guilty of it – and despite players insisting they don’t read the press, they do.
But once Tokyo arrived, no athlete that handled the pressure of sport’s biggest stage with as much grace. Hubbard bowed out of the women’s +87kg category, after three failed snatch attempts, quickly removing any notion that her transition to a woman was an unfair advantage against her other competitors.
What’s more, Hubbard fronted media not long after her exit and gave a reminder of the importance of hope.
It must be Carrington. The ‘GOAT in a boat’ was incredible at the Tokyo Games, becoming our most successful – and arguably greatest – Olympian.
Three gold medals on the Sea Forest Waterway – K1 200, K1 500 and K2 500 – sees her now with an incredible five overall, while also securing bronze in the K4 500.
With her dominant class – K1 200 – scrapped for Paris in favour of an extreme canoe slalom event, it will be exciting to see just what the 32-year-old can do in the next few years.
Even the bravest of bettors would be foolish to write her off having even more success.