Michael John Dawson (NZL)

Michael John Dawson (NZL)

NZNew Zealand
Canoe Slalom
Date of birth
15 October 1986
183 cm
75 kg
Rotorua, NZL
Higher education
Accounting, Business, Finance - Massey University : New Zealand


General Interest

Mike, Mutant (Facebook page, 11 Apr 2016; sportsfreak.co.nz, 14 Aug 2012)
Skiing, surfing, trail running, triathlons. (nzherald.co.nz, 14 Mar 2015)
Most influential person in career
Coach Robin Bell. (mikedawson.co.nz, 01 Mar 2011)
Hero / Idol
New Zealand extreme kayaker Jared Meehan, German slalom paddler Thomas Schmidt. (olympic.org.nz, 2013)
He broke his back in 2012. (olympic.org.nz, 2013)

He suffered a compressed spine in his L3 and L4 vertebrae after falling 11 metres in 2010. It took him six months to fully recover, but he was competing again just four weeks later. (Athlete, 03 Jul 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Success is a journey of challenges, of highs and lows and feelings of discomfort. It empowers your soul and expands your thinking. It embraces the riches of life and sets you apart from anyone else. Success is living my best life." (mikedawson.co.nz, 26 Apr 2015)
Other sports
He has competed in extreme kayak racing events. (Athlete, 28 Jul 2012)
Famous relatives
His mother Kay served as a canoe slalom official at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She gave Dawson a penalty during his first heat at the event. His father Les has worked as his coach. (olympic.org.nz, 2013)
Other information
In early 2016 he had a cooking book published to help fund his path to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "I have spent so much time travelling during my career, paddling rivers in some pretty incredibly places and sampling the local food, that I decided a cookbook full of healthy recipes would be the way to go. Rather than be that guy with his hand out, I wanted to give people something they could use, something personal and interesting, so they could share my Olympic dreams with me." (stuff.co.nz, 05 Apr 2016)

He has been on canoe expeditions in Africa, United States of America, Europe, Mexico and throughout New Zealand. He and Czech athlete Vavra Hradilek also created a course on the Kaituna River in New Zealand when it was running at full flow. "No one really paddles that part of the river at that sort of flow. There were a few nerves and that's exactly what we were after. That apprehension is exactly what you feel when you're competing in big events." (mikedawson.co.nz, 01 Feb 2012; bayofplentytimes.co.nz, 31 Jan 2012; nzherald.co.nz, 03 Jul 2011)

Along with Irish paddler Ciaran Heurteau he owns a film company called Twelve Productions. "The idea is to market canoe slalom to the world. We want to illustrate a new angle and visual perspective of slalom kayaking." (vimeo.com, 01 Feb 2015; mikedawson.co.nz, 01 Mar 2011)

In 2012 he was made a New Zealand Olympic Ambassador by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. (olympic.org.nz, 2013)

International Debut

Australian Championships

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began paddling in 2000 in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Why this sport?
"I began paddling in a plastic kayak with my brother on the local river, and that's all everyone did."
Club / Team
Okere Falls Canoe Club: New Zealand


Olympic GamesK1Brazil, Rio de Janeiro10 August 20162016Men93.0710Latest resultBest result
Olympic GamesK1England, London1 August 20122012Men207.6315Best result
World ChampionshipsK1England, London20 September 20152015Men100.2928Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamEngland, London20 September 20152015Men125.6614Best result
World ChampionshipsK1United States, McHenry, MD20 September 20142014Men105.6612Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Czech Republic, Prague15 September 20132013Men105.1630Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Slovakia, Bratislava11 September 20112011Men102.3516Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamSlovakia, Bratislava11 September 20112011Men121.629Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Slovenia, Tacen12 September 20102010Men102.4828Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamSlovenia, Tacen12 September 20102010Men168.0618Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Spain, La Seu d'Urgell13 September 20092009Men93.5154Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamSpain, La Seu d'Urgell12 September 20092009Men208.1721Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Brazil, Foz do Iguaçu22 September 20072007Men114.4832Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamBrazil, Foz do Iguaçu21 September 20072007Men224.0611Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Czech Republic, Prague5 August 20062006Men48Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamCzech Republic, Prague4 August 20062006Men422.7725Best result
World ChampionshipsK1Australia, Penrith2 October 20052005Men50Best result
World ChampionshipsK1 TeamAustralia, Penrith3 October 20052005Men240.1410Best result
Oceania ChampionshipsK14 February 20072007Men185.471Best result
Oceania Open ChampionshipsK1Australia, Penrith21 February 20162016Men100.1117Latest resultBest result
Oceania Open ChampionshipsK1New Zealand, Managahao1 February 20152015Men96.611Best result
Oceania Open ChampionshipsK1Australia, Penrith, NSW26 February 20122012Men28Best result
Oceania Open ChampionshipsK1Australia, Penrith21 February 20102010Men50Best result
Oceania Open ChampionshipsK1New Zealand, Levin1 February 20092009Men90.823Best result
World CupK111 September 20162016Men92Latest resultBest result
World CupK116 August 20152015Men46Best result
World CupK117 August 20142014Men32Best result
World CupK125 August 20132013Men23Best result
World CupK12 September 20122012Men35Best result
World CupK113 August 20112011Men43Best result
World CupK14 July 20102010Men111Best result
World CupK13 August 20092009Men21Best result
World CupK16 July 20082008Men53Best result
World CupK115 July 20072007Men35Best result
World CupC115 July 20072007Men76Best result
World CupK111 June 20062006Men42Best result
World CupK124 July 20052005Men61Best result
World CupK125 July 20042004Men113Best result