Parents ‘special part’ of Hoskin’s journey
It was a tearful video call home when Alicia Hoskin broke the news to her family that she was going to become an Olympian.
After the New Zealand Olympic Committee had confirmed it, she was allowed to tell her family a week before she was officially named in the canoe sprint team last Friday.
She said her parents had been a “special part” of her journey in the sport, which started only nine years ago.
Speaking after the announcement, Hoskin said she had been overwhelmed by the number of people who had reached out.
“I literally just picked up my phone, and there were heaps of messages from family and friends. It's really cool to have everyone there supporting me.”
She said she wanted to thank all her coaches who had helped in her journey, particularly Jasper Bats, with whom she had worked for the past five years.
Preparations for the Tokyo Games, which start in six weeks, had already begun, Hoskin said.
“Training has ramped up quite a bit. High humidity and heat training, 35 degrees and 78 percent humidity, those are the degree and humidity levels we expect (when competing).”
She said the trial process included a lot of racing on the water and the team hope they can use the experience gained as an advantage given the lack of international races in the past 18 months.
The team coach is Gordon Walker, who has led 23 athletes to medals at past World Canoe Sprint Championships.
Hoskin's teammates include Olympic great Lisa Carrington, who will be competing in her third Olympics, Caitlin Regal (nee Ryan) and Teneale Hatton.
She is the third Gisborne kayaker to represent New Zealand at the Olympics after Alan Thompson and Grant Bramwell, who earned gold at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.