End of the Scheidt Era
Published on October 16th, 2017
Brazil’s Robert Scheidt, winner of five Olympic medals, including two gold, has announced his retirement from Olympic competition, ending a career that spanned a quarter-of-a-century.
The 44-year-old revealed he would continue to participate in non-Olympic events and support Brazil’s elite sailors as they prepare for Tokyo 2020, TV Globo reports.
“The decision to end my Olympic career is one of the most difficult that I’ve ever had to make,” Scheidt told the broadcaster. “I’ve been competing at the highest level for 25 years. I hope to contribute to the sport and that Brazil continues to have a lot of success.
“The amount of training that I would need to do over the next two years would be too much. Two things have always been very important to me – to enjoy what I do and to be competitive. The moment has come in which I no longer feel competitive.”
Scheidt won Olympic gold medals in the Laser class in 1996 and 2004 and also claimed silver at the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Games. He claimed the bronze medal at London 2012 in the Star class.
It may have been a storybook ending for Scheidt who returned to the Laser at the Rio 2016 Games, but came up just short, finishing fourth. Scheidt had been campaigning the 49er skiff before his retirement.
He is the only sailor to ever beat Britain’s Ben Ainslie in Olympic competition when he triumphed at Atlanta 1996. Four years later, in one of the most iconic sailing races in history, Ainslie out-foxed Scheidt in an epic duel which forced his rival to the back of the fleet and secured the Briton a maiden Olympic title.
Born in São Paulo, Scheidt’s father gave him his first boat when he was nine, and Scheidt began practising in the Guarapiranga dam. Scheidt collection of five Olympic medals is matched within Brazil by fellow sailor Torben Grael who holds two gold, one silver, and two bronze.
Scheidt also won 12 World Championship gold medals, nine in the Laser and three in the Star. He also claimed three consecutive gold medals in the Pan American Games in the laser, at Mar Del Plata 1995, Winnipeg 2003 and Santo Domingo 2003.