Glynis and Pat Carrington are now the proud parents of New Zealand’s most decorated Olympian.
Lisa Carrington raced ahead of the competition at yesterday afternoon’s K1 500m final to take her third gold of the Tokyo Games, her fifth overall, and sixth medal in her storied career.
It left mum Glynis “very humbled” with a “totally new level of admiration” for the athlete.
“We are absolutely proud,” dad Pat said, amazed that his daughter continued raising the bar.
Kayaking wasn’t Lisa’s first love, though — netball was. There was a point in her life Lisa aspired to be a Silver Fern.
Her parents say their daughter’s surf lifesaving days were probably the turning point.
“She would be out there for as long as these boys who were three and four years older than her and doing as much as them,” Glynis said.
They recall one moment in New Plymouth: an under-14 National Surf Life Saving championship competition. One morning as huge waves were breaking, Lisa rode atop one before falling three metres.
“The waves were forming … she just kept paddling,” Pat said.
“It was such an awesome manoeuvre. It just demonstrated she was absolutely scared, but it was conquering that fear and taking the wave and coming into the beach.”
It was emblematic of Lisa’s attitude to life and sport, he said.
“She has learned to conquer those fears and grasp them and embrace them.”