Shore Olympians: Erin Taylor
Kayaking with Erin Taylor
Carmel old girl and kayaker Erin Taylor, who turns 25 this month, will be competing in the K2 500 event at the London Olympics.
Erin, who started kayaking when she was 18, has always been a stand out athlete. In her time at Carmel, she was a swimmer, a surf lifesaver, a member of the top netball team and a North Harbour netball representative. She also dabbled in “any other sport that could get me a day off school.” In seventh form she was dubbed Carmel’s most outstanding netball player, senior cross country champion and unsurprisingly, Sports Girl of the Year.
Erin competed at the Beijing Olympics in the K1 500 event. There, she reached the semi finals where she placed fifth.
She says she feels much more prepared for London, having learned a lot from 2008.
“The biggest lesson I learned was probably just to do with the intensity of the competition,” she says. “You need to be really strong and confident about what you are doing to not get too caught up in the occasion.”
Since 2008, she has switched from the K1 to the K2 event. This means she now paddles with a partner (Lisa Carrington) over 500m of flat water, instead of on her own.
“I got the opportunity to paddle with Lisa in K2, we both really wanted to give it a go and see how good we could be together,” she says. “I really enjoy K2, it's a challenge fitting two people together to combine well and paddle fast, but it's also double the enjoyment factor and excitement, especially when things are going well - it’s like a supercharged K1!”
Erin is aiming to “have a great race, perform to our potential and ultimately be in the medals”.
She has been working hard – a typical day in the life of Erin Taylor is fairly packed.
She gets up and trains on Lake Pupuke for one or two hours. Then she heads home for breakfast and hits the gym for one and a half hours. After that she grabs some lunch and maybe takes a trip to the physio before churning out a final hour of training on the lake in the afternoon.
It’s enough to make anyone work up a sweat.
She admits that being an Olympic kayaker is hard work, but “it’s definitely worth it.”
Erin has a nutrition degree and started a nutrition consulting business “Taylor Made” after she graduated in 2010. She lists Roger Federer as her inspiration, and swimming and triathlon as her favourite Olympic spectator sports.
She is happy with her preparations for London so far. Training has been going well and she is happy with her results - in March, she and Lisa won the K2 500 and the K2 200 at the Australian National Championships.
“We are a really strong team and really confident in our training and preparation,” she says. “That will help us to arrive at the Olympics feeling strong in ourselves and ready to line up and perform well.”