The Olympic gold medal winner has the country at her feet, and could do for some time

Let's put it on the record now. Lisa Carrington's going to be big. Last night's gold medal is a great launching pad and at just 23 years-old she has plenty of years to win the public's adoration again and again and again.

Carrington was the youngest competitor in that kayaking final -- according to the commentator I heard -- so she has the chance to dominate her sport. Having years in the spotlight is a great start. But more than that she has everything that New Zealanders like.

She's a winner, she's pretty and she's self-effacing. To see her on Marae Investigates just hours after the win was to see a young woman who was confident and articulate, but who looked at the ground at her brothers spoke, who took a ribbing from her family with good grace and who never once boasted.

It seems she's articulate and not afraid to give an interview. The camera loves her and her teeth are almost as good as Sarah Walker's!

Carrington is the next Barbara Kendall, the next Sarah Ulmer, when it comes to being the nation's sporting sweetheart. The only thing that could hold her back is the relative obscurity of her sport. She can't turn out in a test match a dozen times a year. Still, there are other ways she can stay in the public eye.

Ad campaigns and the speaking circuit await, and there's some good money in that. You'd think she could pull up to $10,000 for a speech if she can find a clever line or two and maybe come up with some tips that share the secrets of her success.

Television will lap her up and if I had a magazine, she'd be the one you wanted on the cover next week.

Comments (2)

by Freddy on August 13, 2012

Yes Tim she's a sponsors dream athlete, the word you're looking for is 'wholesome', kind of in away SBW can never be.

Alot of the credit must go to her family and upbringing, a blend of the Maori and Pakeha worlds working together in perfect harmony. The most modern of NZ families!

But please don't heap to much expectation on her so soon, as you say there's a long walk head of her....I hope she's got a good agent!!

by Matthew Percival on August 13, 2012
Matthew Percival

I'll be the first to disagree with you Tim and you touched on one of the reasons why - she is in the wrong sport.

Kayaking has almost zero profile. Who knew this girl was a world champion until the lead up to the Olympics?

That isn't going to change. When are New Zealanders going to get the opportunity to see her compete? When are we next going to hear the name Lisa Carrington in the news? This girl was on our screens for 40 odd seconds - only Usain Bolt can translate a shorter timeframe into stardom!

Whilst she can give a good interview is she any better than Sarah Walker or Andrea Hewitt? And just because she can give a good interview does not mean that she has the ability to get dollars out of people's pockets to hear her speak.

With the big Triathlon coming up in Downtown Auckland at the end of the year and the larger profile of that sport it would be Andrea Hewitt on my cover despite not collecting a medal at the Olympics.

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