Paige Railey: Determined to get that medal

Published on March 12th, 2013

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2008 Olympics, 2006 ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award winner Paige Railey (USA) had made it to the 2012 Games, and was eager to get the one thing missing from her trophy collection: an Olympic medal.

But the story did not end as she had hoped, with an 8th place finish in the Laser Radial event landing her far from the podium. Now six months later, has time healed the wound for this 25 year old? Scuttlebutt check in with Paige to find out…

* Amidst all the expectations, is sailing still as fun for you as it was when you were a youth sailor?

Absolutely. I am still having a blast, but let me share with you something the public should know about. They should know about what it’s like to have an unsuccessful Olympics.

I went into the Games putting expectations on myself to win a medal. When that didn’t happen, I was devastated. I had been working so hard and to not have a dream come true was a true disappointment. We talk about the great experiences and how fun it was, which is true, but there is also that gut wrenching feeling of not fulfilling all of our goals.

I needed time away from the boat and I need to clear my head. I came home empty handed and I had to learn how to deal with it. So I put the boat away and got rid of my disappointment. It took time, but I am back and I’m the old Paige.

I went out to Miami for the ISAF Sailing World Cup in January with a clear head and just did what I know best…I simply sailed. If I finished 10th or 1st, it wouldn’t have mattered because I was out there finding the reason as to why I sail (note: she won). Do I sail for the competition, for the Olympics, for the winning? No, I sail because I love it.

I am ready now to go 100% into my campaign for the 2016 Games, but this time I will be wiser and smarter as to how I prepare for it.

* Do you feel the need to balance your Laser sailing with other activities?

Yes sir! I completely feel there needs to be a balance which led me to signing up for a full Iron Man. The race is May 18 in Texas. I ask myself many times, “What were you thinking…lol” The road is tough and there’s lots of cardio, but all in all I’m pretty proud at what I have achieved so far and I believe I can accomplish.

I’m also looking to balance my Laser sailing with sailing in other boats. I think it will be fun and I will also get another perspective on sailing. I have been coaching as well which has taught me A LOT!

* Do you consider yourself a Laser Radial sailor who seeks to be in the Olympics, or an Olympic caliber sailor that fits best into the Laser Radial?

No I don’t seek to be in the Olympics, I’ve been. I consider myself a Laser Radial Sailor with an awesome resume that is missing one thing…a Gold Medal at the Olympics. And when the Olympics for me is over, I will still be at it. Look out Master Circuit!

Paige Railey website:

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