How to Succeed at the Rio Games

Published on July 14th, 2016

The most successful sailor in Olympic history, Ben Ainslie (GBR) has won medals at five consecutive Olympics from 1996 to 2012, including gold at the last four. But the streak was nearly disrupted in 2012 by Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN), who held the lead over Ainslie until the final race of the Finn class event.

The Rio Games will be Høgh-Christensen’s fourth Olympics. Here he offers these comments on what it will take to succeed in 2016:

unnamedAbout Olympic experience:
“If you have superior speed you will do well. But if we all show up and go about the same speed, I think experience will be key. I have been there and know what it takes. I am also probably stronger all round so will be hoping for a bit of everything.”

2012 versus 2016:
“I think it is going to be very different from London. It is probably going to be a little lighter. It is going to be a lot trickier; we are going to see higher scores. But I think we will see some fierce competition. Hopefully we will have the wind and weather with us and we will get some good races in. I think where that was almost a given in London, it might be a little bit more risky for Rio.”

Blame it on Rio:
“Sailing in Rio sure does give some new experiences. You have to adapt and reconcile with any challenges coming your way both on and off the racecourse. On the water we have sailed in 6-8 meter waves one day, crazy current the next and the wind is all over the place, so is the debris and filth in the water too, which gives another dimension to the sailing.”

Silver in 2012:
“It took me probably close to two years to actually even be able to watch the medal race. I see a couple of the races where I didn’t do that well and had I not made a couple of mistakes I probably would have been further ahead and I could have sailed the medal race completely differently. I put myself in a situation where chance or risk was a big part of the outcome. Next time I will try and be a bit further ahead.”

Source: Finn class

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