Skip to content


Caitlin and her team members

Caitlin’s recently returned from the Rio 2016 Olympics, as part of the first New Zealand women’s four to compete at an Olympics, placing an incredible 5th in the sprint final.

She comes from a background in surf lifesaving and after winning six national surf ski titles she decided to focus her sporting skill on sprint kayaking. Her dedication is such an inspiration, training 18 hours a week to prepare for the Olympic Games whilst also working as a dental hygienist and embarking in postgraduate studies.

At only age 24, this bright star has a lot of success ahead of her and we couldn’t be more excited to watch and cheer her on. Look out Tokyo 2020!

We chatted with her about the Olympics, her inspiration and some of her best skin care tips..

You’ve just come home from the Rio 2016 Olympics, congratulations! That’s such an incredible achievement.

How did you know you wanted to pursue your dreams of being a New Zealand representative for the Canoe/Kayak Sprint?

I guess I didn’t really know until I was a bit older, people always told me I could and that I was good at paddling but I never really believed in myself. Then I looked at all these amazing athletes achieving greatness and I wanted to pursue a big dream like they did and realised they were just people much like myself. So I took a risk and believed in myself and since then I have never looked back.


What was the most challenging aspect of participating in the Olympics?

I think getting there, the hard work and sacrifices are huge; you train 2-3 times a day and push your body to the absolute limit. Then you get to the Olympics and the work is done you can’t do much more, so I think the most challenging part is the 4 years up to the Olympics, the Olympics is the reward at the end.


Which New Zealander do you find most inspiring, either professionally or personally?

I don’t really have one specific athlete that inspires me, they all have different roads they went down, but for me personally it would be my Opa. He was a soccer player in the Netherlands and he loved everything about sport, he inspired and still inspires me to be the best version of me. Although he is not here with me, he is my biggest push factor, so when I’m on the line I make sure I smile and enjoy the moment because that is what he would have wanted me to do, live in the moment. (I do however have a slight obsession with Ronda Rousey!)


What’s your motto or personal mantra?

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have to change it…. Muhammad Ali. I think this quote resonates deeply with me as I always saw Olympic success as impossible, but I was the only person that could determine that.


What piece of advice would you offer to another young New Zealand athlete pursuing their sporting dreams?

I can’t emphasise enough ‘why not’?? If you put in the work and truly want something then go for it, aim for the stars because you might just make it!


If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you absolutely need with you? 

I feel like all girls need shampoo and conditioner (I think that should count as 1)! A good book! You can never go wrong with a book! And really good skincare products (they came in a makeup bag so that makes 1 item also!


What’s at the top of your bucket list?

It sounds cheesy but win an Olympic medal!

(The Skinfood team don’t think this is cheesy at all! Go Caitlin!)


What do you think is the most important step of your daily skin care routine?

Exfoliation! I think being out in the conditions, sun, salt, wind, my skin really needs to be exfoliated every night just to help recover. I find my skin gets its glow back after exfoliating.


What’s the best skin care tip you can share with us?

Never miss night time skincare!!! I always make sure I complete all the skincare steps before bed and use an oil on my face before bed because sleep time is when your whole body recovers not just your muscles. Everyone should try it and I bet you will wake up with young feeling skin.


We like to ask all our #skinfoodies, what’s your fave Skinfood product?!

I have two, I really love the Cleans All Cleanser; I’ve never had a cleanser that makes your skin feel so smooth, so I look forward to clearing my skin at nightime with this. I also can’t turn away from the tanning moisturiser especially at this time of year! Because it is gradual you don’t get any patchy areas and it looks so natural!


Follow Caitlin's incredible journey through her Facebook and Instagram <3