Changes at US Sailing Team

Published on February 2nd, 2017

Portsmouth, RI (February 2, 2017) – US Sailing today announced that following an annual review and resulting team reorganization, two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Bend, Ore.) will step down as High Performance Director for the US Sailing Team. McKee has orchestrated the national team’s on-the-water performance initiatives and youth development strategy since assuming the role shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“As part of the team’s ongoing evolution and push for more efficiency, we have decided to change the way our leadership team is structured,” said Malcolm Page (Newport, R.I.), the Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “The performance management of the team will fall under my position going forward.”

With McKee as High Performance Director, the team achieved notable performance gains over the past four years. A young U.S. Olympic Sailing Team qualified for six medal races in the ten sailing events in Rio 2016, and Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) came away with a bronze medal in the Finn class. U.S. athletes Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) also secured silver medals in the Sonar class at the Paralympic Games.

McKee was instrumental in establishing US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP), which since its inception in early 2015 has boosted the technical and physical skills of hundreds of the nation’s top youth athletes. In late 2016, the U.S. Youth Worlds Team, with coaching and guidance provided by the ODP, won three medals at the Youth Sailing World Championship in Auckland.

“It has been an honor to work with the team during the Rio quadrennium,” said McKee. “There are so many dedicated and talented athletes, staff, and coaches who really came together in a cooperative spirit. I felt proud to be a part of it, and take particular pride in helping to get the ODP to where it is today in such a short period of time. I wish everyone great success going forward in trying to build from here for the future.”

“Charlie is a legend in U.S. Olympic sailing history,” said Page. “As an athlete, he is one of a select few to ever win multiple medals in multiple classes. As a class coach at the Games, he also oversaw a U.S. medal-winning performance. And as the leader of our performance staff over the past quadrennium, he set the whole program on a positive path towards the future. We admire his many years of total service to the team, and truly wish him the best.”

Source: US Sailing Team

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