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Damien Seguin: A Gold Medal Example for Others

Published on August 27th, 2016

Ambition is always an essential ingredient when you are competing at the highest level and aiming for gold, and France’s Damien Seguin has ambition in spades.

Heading towards a fourth Paralympic Games at Rio 2016, Seguin has plans on another medal in a boat he has always just really loved to sail, the 2.4 Norlin OD, “When I first sailed the 2.4 I thought ‘wow, it’s a fantastic boat’. It’s not because of my disability, it’s just a fantastic boat.”

Seguin was born with only one hand, but in his own joking way he explains, “If I only need to count to five it’s ok.” But that by no means quenches his thirst for competition as he has his eyes on a sailing first, “My plan is to be the first skipper with a handicap to do the Vendee Globe.”

Although Seguin is aiming to be the first disabled skipper in the Vendee Globe, he does not want his disability to define him as a sailor and will refuse to adapt his boat so there can be no excuses, “I want to have the same boat. We are just two sailors and the best will win.”

Having sailed the Route du Rhum twice and with eight Transatlantic races under his belt, the aim of the 2020 Vendee Globe is well within reach for Seguin. But before his big boat ambitions, Seguin still has the small matter of adding to his gold medal from Athens 2004, silver from Beijing 2008 and ‘chocolate’ medal from London 2012 (chocolate being the French term for fourth position) on the waters of Guanabara Bay in the coming weeks.

Even if Seguin cannot claim that coveted gold at Rio 2016, there is always something in his life which will take its place as he looks to inspire the next generation of sailors in his homeland, “In France I have many boats and use them to teach children with disabilities. I don’t see myself as a role model but everyone needs an example, and if I can be an example to children it is the best. Better than a gold medal for me.”

Seguin will start his campaign for gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on the Pão de Açucar race area of Guanabara Bay.

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place on September 7-18 with the sailing scheduled to be raced on September 12-17 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Source: World Sailing

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