It’s not good to see all the controversy around kayaking in the media. I’m disappointed I have been dragged into it in the way that I have – especially since it is not really about me. As I understand it CRNZ and SPARC have undertaken a pretty comprehensive review of the high performance program based on two international trips earlier this year, which I was not part of, and they have come to some conclusions that change is required. I can understand how that creates pressure and difficult situations for people and I guess it is up to them as to how they choose to deal with that. I have to be honest however and say I would prefer if they left me out of it.
We have given some thought to correcting some of the things said about me and our agreement with CRNZ and SPARC but to be honest I do not want to get involved in the politics of it all and certainly see no benefit to anyone or the sport by engaging in any of this personal stuff. To my mind no one wins.
Reality is I love to race for New Zealand on the international stage, nothing fires me up more. I am driven by wanting to be the best athlete I can be and enjoying the hard work and focus that requires. Winning on that top international stage is the key – it is us against the other top class international paddlers not each other that really counts. I am getting no special protective treatment around selection. There are no restrictions on another New Zealand kayaker competing against me next year at the three world cups and securing that K1 1000 spot for the world champs – it is on CRNZ’s website if people want to go and look. . Even if I end up qualifying the boat for the Olympics I am not assured of selection.
And that people is what my life is all about at the moment – nailing the K1 1000m at the world champs in 2011 and qualifying the boat for the Olympics. Really focusing on what I have to do to ensure I am going faster than ever before for those 2-3 key races towards the end of next year. The competition is so intense now, way more so than I have ever experienced and that is a challenge I relish. I am working really hard on some technical , balance and strength aspects to my kayaking over the next 4-5 months on a very controlled and managed program, aiming to be race ready for the World Cups and well set up for the World Champs.
A second and fourth at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics respectively really has you questioning what it is you have to do to get better, and that is what we are now focused on.
Anyway to wrap up it’s great to back into the full swing of training. Post worlds we had taken some time out to freshen up and recover and get on top of my wrist injury which is now a lot better. On Thursday I paddled just over 20km which ordinarily is not much but it’s a lot more than I’ve been able to paddle in some time. Below is a screen grab from our video technique session out at Greenhithe the other day. It was probably one of the nicest days weather wise for a long time. To be out on the water with the other senior New Zealand paddlers and sink our teeth into a solid training session felt really good. There was a great atmosphere and feeling of solidarity spiced with a general consensus that we were there to go about our business and not be distracted by other events.