SHELLHARBOUR City’s Olympic ‘golden boy’ has been recognised with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Lake Illawarra’s David Smith was included in the Australia Day 2014 Honours List, being acknowledged for service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 26-year-old kayaker was training on the Gold Coast when the Lake Times phoned him.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he said.
“My family are over the moon – mum and dad are ecstatic.
“I think they’re more excited than me.”
Smith was gold medallist in the Canoe/Kayak Sprint Kayak Four (K4) 1000 metres event in London 2012.
He also represented Australia at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Smith has been a member of the Warilla-Barrack Point Surf Life Saving Club since 1994.
He was also presented with the ‘keys to the city’ by Shellharbour City Council in 2012.
“It’s really nice for the sport, and people of Australia to recognise what you’ve achieved,” he said.
“To know that what you do is acknowledged and appreciated.
“We do this for the love of it, and not for the glory of things like this, but it’s nice to be recognised, and always makes it worthwhile.”
Smith said he was humbled by the esteemed company he was in as part of the honours list.
“You look at the list of all varieties of people; what they’ve achieved and done in their communities and it’s good to be a part of it.
“It probably will be the pinnacle of what I can achieve in terms of being recognised by the Australian people.”
Smith has his sights set on the world championships in Moscow in August, where his team is eyeing off a top three placing.
He has also set himself a goal of not only competing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, but also Tokyo four years later.
“I want to be a four-time Olympian,” he said.
“The way I’m feeling now, I definitely want to go to Tokyo.”