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I’ve been to three Olympic Games and they were all vastly different.

"I love the daily challenge of going out there and redefining my limits" Luuka Jones - Athlete Page is aiming for her 4th Olympic Games come Tokyo 2020 #EarnTheFern #Tokyo2020 Canoe Slalom New Zealand

Posted by NZ Olympic Team on Saturday, 17 August 2019

 

Leading into Beijing I was really young and naïve, it was my first Games and it was a really inspiring experience.

Then between Beijing and London I was still fending for myself, I had no money and was hitchhiking across Europe and still trying to make it as a professional athlete.

Then after 2012 I got a lot of support from HPSNZ and I made the most of the opportunity and tried to learn as much as I could in all areas to be a proper high performance athlete.

I moved in with Emma Twigg and Rebecca Scown to try and learn from them because I had this opportunity that I wanted to be this athlete, so I needed to spend time with high performance athletes to see how they operated.

There wasn’t much of a programme for canoe slalom athletes in New Zealand at that time. Now we’ve got Wero and a good training group.

At the last two World Cups some of our boys have done really well and I got my first world cup medal so for us we’re getting that feeling of belonging on the world stage. We come from a country that’s not got a huge history in a sport which has been dominated by Europeans so you have to overcome those mental barriers and self-imposed limitations to think we belong at the top.

Doing both k1 and C1 is a big challenge. I decided to go dual disciplines because C1 just got introduced as an Olympic discipline. Also nice to have a challenge and a fresh perspective on the sport. I started c1 on the back foot because a lot of my competitors have been doing it for a lot longer than me so I had a lot to learn and had to go back to square 1. I’m still a bit on the back foot but I’m confident I can improve and get to the level I need to get to for Tokyo.

Tokyo will be my fourth Games. I’m still going because I haven’t achieved what I want to achieve, I’m still learning lots and improving and I love it. I felt like silver in Rio was only the start.

I love the daily challenge of going out there and redefining your limits, you keep getting better and better but you can always do more and you can always improve. Sport brings out the best and the worst in you so I really enjoy that as well.

 


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