Olympian Lovett announces retirement

2016 k4 2.jpg

Olympic kayaker Jaimee Lovett is hanging up her paddle, retiring from the sport after ten years of toil and two years of world-class performances.

The 28-year-old played an anchor role in the historic New Zealand women’s K4 that finished fifth in Rio last year, confirming their place at the elite level of the sport.

Lovett, however, is leaving her teammates to carry on towards Tokyo in 2020, content with what she’s achieved.

“When you’re pouring your heart and soul into sport, you always need a desire to be better and leading into Rio, I was paddling better than I could’ve ever thought possible,” Lovett explained. “When I came back to training late last year, knowing how much work I needed to get back to that level, the desire to be better just wasn’t there. I’d peaked - I’d got to the top of my mountain - and I didn’t want to climb another one. I’m proud of what I achieved and that’s enough for me."

Together with Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, the Whakatane-raised kayaker helped take an untested, inexperienced K4 boat within inches of an Olympic medal in just 18 months together, collecting world cup gold in Portugal in 2015 and bronze last year.

That success made her retirement decision a lot easier for Lovett, having proved to herself what she was capable of, and capping an international career that began at the 2007 Youth Olympic Festival in Australia.

Ryan, Fisher and Imrie will continue with the national high performance programme, run by New Zealand women’s coach Rene Olsen, where they’ve been joined by an enlarged squad of talented younger paddlers coming through.

“It’s exciting and we’re in a really good position,” Lovett said. “We’ve got three world-class coaches (Olsen, Gordon Walker and men’s coach Fred Loyer) and building some solid programmes with a group of athletes who are really keen to get stuck in. You can see the athletes going after it themselves, rather than waiting for it to happen.”

Canoe Racing New Zealand boss Mark Weatherall paid tribute to Lovett’s contribution to the sport.
“Jaimee’s maturity and work ethic have been inspirational, not only for her teammates but also to the next generation of paddlers coming through,” Weatherall said. “I’ve personally seen her develop from a shy teenaged surf lifesaver from Whakatane to a universally-respected, world-class canoe sprinter. She’ll leave a big hole in our sport but it’s a privilege to have worked with her.”

Lovett’s immediate plans now are fairly uncomplicated - she intends making the most of the New Zealand summer, before joining partner Shea McAleese - the veteran Black Sticks midfielder - in Europe where he’s contracted in the off-season.

Olympian Lovett announces retirement

Olympic kayaker Jaimee Lovett is hanging up her paddle, retiring from the sport after ten years of toil and two years of world-class performances.
2016 k4 2.jpg

Olympic kayaker Jaimee Lovett is hanging up her paddle, retiring from the sport after ten years of toil and two years of world-class performances.

The 28-year-old played an anchor role in the historic New Zealand women’s K4 that finished fifth in Rio last year, confirming their place at the elite level of the sport.

Lovett, however, is leaving her teammates to carry on towards Tokyo in 2020, content with what she’s achieved.

“When you’re pouring your heart and soul into sport, you always need a desire to be better and leading into Rio, I was paddling better than I could’ve ever thought possible,” Lovett explained. “When I came back to training late last year, knowing how much work I needed to get back to that level, the desire to be better just wasn’t there. I’d peaked - I’d got to the top of my mountain - and I didn’t want to climb another one. I’m proud of what I achieved and that’s enough for me."

Together with Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, the Whakatane-raised kayaker helped take an untested, inexperienced K4 boat within inches of an Olympic medal in just 18 months together, collecting world cup gold in Portugal in 2015 and bronze last year.

That success made her retirement decision a lot easier for Lovett, having proved to herself what she was capable of, and capping an international career that began at the 2007 Youth Olympic Festival in Australia.

Ryan, Fisher and Imrie will continue with the national high performance programme, run by New Zealand women’s coach Rene Olsen, where they’ve been joined by an enlarged squad of talented younger paddlers coming through.

“It’s exciting and we’re in a really good position,” Lovett said. “We’ve got three world-class coaches (Olsen, Gordon Walker and men’s coach Fred Loyer) and building some solid programmes with a group of athletes who are really keen to get stuck in. You can see the athletes going after it themselves, rather than waiting for it to happen.”

Canoe Racing New Zealand boss Mark Weatherall paid tribute to Lovett’s contribution to the sport.
“Jaimee’s maturity and work ethic have been inspirational, not only for her teammates but also to the next generation of paddlers coming through,” Weatherall said. “I’ve personally seen her develop from a shy teenaged surf lifesaver from Whakatane to a universally-respected, world-class canoe sprinter. She’ll leave a big hole in our sport but it’s a privilege to have worked with her.”

Lovett’s immediate plans now are fairly uncomplicated - she intends making the most of the New Zealand summer, before joining partner Shea McAleese - the veteran Black Sticks midfielder - in Europe where he’s contracted in the off-season.

Olympian Lovett announces retirement
 

Trading Post

Nelo V3 XXL SCS K2

Date: Sunday, 8 April 2018

Author: Andrew Roy

K1 for sale

Date: Saturday, 7 April 2018

Author: Thomas

Nelo SCS XXL V3

Date: Monday, 12 March 2018

Author: Andrew

 

Latest News & Features

2018 NZ Canoe Marathon Champs

2018 NZ Canoe Marathon Champs

Date: Sunday, 8 April 2018

A competitive field made for some interesting strategies in the marathon champs. ...

Depth delivers for top male kayakers

Depth delivers for top male kayakers

Date: Sunday, 25 February 2018

Kurtis Imrie won the K1 500m on the final day of the NZCT New Zealand canoe sprint championships at ...

Pedigree and power gives Thompson kayaking gold.

Pedigree and power gives Thompson kayaking gold.

Date: Saturday, 24 February 2018

Poverty Bay’s Quaid Thompson celebrates his first K1 1000m title at the NZCT New Zealand canoe ...

 
 
© Copyright 2018 Canoe Racing New Zealand