Failure to Perform

Published on August 9th, 2012

The United States won’t win an Olympic sailing medal for the first time since the 1936 Berlin Games. Anna Tunnicliffe, the last American skipper with a chance, couldn’t fight back tears after her run at a second straight gold medal ended Wednesday.

U.S. Sailing officials on both sides of the Atlantic had blunt assessments and promised an extensive review of why the Americans were so uncompetitive in an Olympics in which they were expected to take three or four medals.

“This is not the distinction this team was going for,” said Dean Brenner, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. “Listen, there’s no hiding. There’s no way to spin it. There’s no way to suggest anything other than we didn’t perform.”

U.S. Sailing President Gary Jobson, who spent a week watching the games before returning to Annapolis, Md., was equally blunt, calling the failure to medal “a heck of a wake-up call.”

“In essence, we weren’t competitive in any class,” Jobson told The Associated Press by phone.

“I was a little surprised, and, like all American sailors, disappointed,”

Jobson said. “The question for me is, what do we do about it? I can’t predict how the review will go, but I can tell you it’s going to be thorough. This isn’t going to stand long-term.”

The U.S. has won 59 Olympic sailing medals, the most of any nation, although its 19 gold medals trail Britain’s 26. — Associated Press. Read the complete story.

MORE: Sailing World editor Stuart Streuli is in Weymouth, and sat down with Dean Brenner for an interview. “Not the distinction this team was going for,” said Brenner, concerning the team’s failure to medal. “There’s no hiding the results. There’s no way to spin it, there’s no way to suggest anything other than we didn’t perform. There’s going to be an enormous amount of discussion – a lot of it is going to be productive, some of it probably won’t be – on what we did wrong, and what we need to do better, and I’m going to lead that discussion with my successor Josh Adams, and we’re going to look very, very closely at our program. But make no mistake about it; we’re not proud of these results at all. We came here thinking we could compete for three or four medals, and we thought the track record suggested that that was legit. It didn’t happen.” Much more here …

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