New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson made the semifinals of the kayak slalom at the Olympics despite being given a two-second penalty by his mother Kay — who is a judge at the games.
Dawson touched the fifth gate when going down the 18-gate Olympic course on Sunday, and his mother didn't hesitate to penalize her son. It was one of two two-second penalties Dawson received, but he still advanced to the semifinals.
Dawson joked in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that he was tempted to get his coach to put in a protest. That would have made dinner time at the Dawsons even more awkward. His coach is his father, Les.
Dawson says his mother's penalty "definitely dispels any hint of bias and I wouldn't have it any other way."
He says he'll be trying his best to keep his mother "unoccupied" in his semifinal run Wednesday.