New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson made the semifinals of the kayak slalom at the Olympics despite being given a 2-second penalty by a judge — his mother, Kay.
Dawson touched gate five when going down the 18-gate Olympic course Sunday, and his mother didn’t hesitate to penalize her son. It was one of two 2-second penalties Dawson received, but he still advanced to Wednesday’s semis.
Dawson joked in an email to The Associated Press that he was tempted to get his coach to file a protest ”about that particular judge.”
It would have made dinner time at the Dawsons even more awkward. His coach is his father, Les.
”That would’ve had all sorts of ramifications after the Olympics, and besides, I like mum’s cooking too much!” Dawson wrote Monday in his email to the AP.
Dawson added that his mother’s penalty ”definitely dispels any hint of bias and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
”Fortunately it was definitely a genuine touch, and of course she called it right, as I’d expect her to … though I’ll be trying my hardest to keep mum unoccupied in my semifinal run,” he said.
Dawson qualified eighth out of the 15 kayakers who made the semis. He is at his first Olympics, while Kay his mother was also a judge at the 2008 Beijing Games.