Improving outlook for US Olympic Team
Published on April 8th, 2018
Malcolm Page, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing, spoke with Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck regarding the establishment of FAST USA, the Facility for Advanced Sailing and Technology, which has opened at Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) in San Francisco, CA.
How will this facility help the US Sailing Team?
This is a cultural shift for our athletes. It will give them significance. This facility offers something behind them.
It will bring the everyday facilities that they need to be successful. That includes classrooms, technology, gymnasium, and in the long-term, we’re even looking at the holistic approach of accommodation, career, and educational environment as well.
We’re a complex sport, with the logistics around it, and with the size of the United States, we’ll now have two national training centers: one on the east coast in Miami, and now one on the west coast. We’ll be very well-positioned for the next 10 years of the Olympic Games.
Regarding logistics, will there be Olympic equipment on-site?
At the moment, there is. There is our Tokyo fleet sitting in San Francisco, which includes all ten Olympic events. But they will be bouncing backwards and forwards from that venue to Tokyo. And we will have, very soon, six RIBs on the west coast.
Housing is expensive in San Francisco. Is there a solution?
It is probably the hardest and most complex issue with this location, but we’ve got some real estate experts that are working on it in the San Francisco area as we must solve this need.
It may take us some time to build the ultimate spot for housing, and there might be multiple levels. You wouldn’t want to put people in dorms that are going to be called their home. They’re going to live there. For example, a sailor with a family, he couldn’t live in a dorm with children. But let’s say for training camps, a dorm-style facility would likely work for a period.
So we’re working on solutions that will work for all sailors and all needs.
With the Sailing events for the 2028 Olympics in Long Beach, why is this facility in San Francisco?
To date, the US Sailing Team has taken advantage on a minimal level of the technical strength that exists within the USA, but now our plans are far more extensive.
Technology is one of the major legs of our table that we’re going to build, and there’s no better place in the whole world than San Francisco. San Francisco also has a lot of microclimates, so it actually delivers a great facility from a sailing and technology standpoint.
We are actively working on how we can use this next 10 years to really establish, for all levels within sailing, a great effort out on the west coast, and for the whole country.
When will the facility be up and running for the team to use?
We are currently working through the city approval process but we envision it will be middle to late summer. However, we’re already working with TISC, and they’re making their current facility available for teams to camp.
Off the top of my head, this summer I think we have five of six Sailing Team camps and three camps with our Olympic Development Program that will be in San Francisco, either out of Treasure Island or other locations on the Bay. So the future is here.