Caitlin Regal announces retirement and another surprise

It has been a week of announcements for two-time Olympian Caitlin Regal who declared her retirement from canoe sprint on Wednesday, followed up on Saturday with the exciting news that her and partner Nick are expecting a baby.

Her retirement wraps up a spectacular career which saw her break two world records and win Olympic Gold.

In her Instagram post, Caitlin reflected on the memories she had made and people she had connected with throughout her paddling journey, and looks forward to the next chapter of her life, which will be “equally challenging but just as epic.”

Only a few days later she shared what this chapter will include, releasing a short video seemingly celebrating her wedding anniversary but with a surprise sonogram picture at the end.

Caitlin has been an integral part of the CRNZ women’s high performance programme since she burst on the international scene as a rookie U23 team member in 2013. She has won numerous world championship and world cup medals since, both in team boats and individually, and made her first Olympic appearance in Rio in 2016 in the K4 500m alongside Jaimee Lovett, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher.

In 2018, she set a world best time in the WK1 500.

The years of training and hard work ultimately culminated in her gold medal winning performance alongside Lisa Carrington in the K2 500m at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was a new world best time.

“Over an incredible 8 year span, Caitlin went from a highly talented surf athlete who gave kayaking a try, to becoming Olympic and World Champion in an event (WK2) that has been dominated by the Europeans for decades.” said Nathan Luce, CRNZ General Manager of Performance.

“Caitlin’s relentless pursuit of excellence both on and off the water will be sorely missed, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavours. We can only hope that Caitlin stays connected to the sport and assists us in other ways to ensure we continue to grow and maintain the global standing she helped create.”

Lisa Carrington acknowledged her team mate with an Instagram post. “Cait… what an epic journey…You were an incredible training partner and teammate, pushing me to reach my potential. So I thank you my friend for all your support.”

Canoe Racing NZ wish Caitlin the best of luck as she moves on from the sport, and look forward to meeting baby Regal when the time comes.