Olympic success is not done alone

Published on July 29th, 2019

Luther Carpenter is the longest-tenured and most successful coach in the history of US Olympic Sailing, having guided American athletes to five medals in four different classes. Luther has committed his life to helping others achieve their goals, but as he shares in this report, it takes a village…


This is a bit of a public service announcement, but for many of us just a reminder of what it takes. There is excitement in the air this month – the Pan Am Games are starting in Lima, Peru; followed by our team training and competing in Enoshima, Japan, at the Olympic Test Event (the “practice” Olympics), followed by a World Cup event on the same Olympic waters.

Our athletes have trained hard over the summer months, as we aim to “test” our abilities in Japan one year out from the Olympics. It’s a year away, but crunch time has been in motion for all of 2019. We need to fine-tune the skills, face our challenges, and do the work. The formula isn’t that hard – train with specific goals and targets, at a single-minded pace and schedule.

Our sailors are more determined than ever, and the talent base they are coming from is a list of America’s best: World Youth Champions, College Sailors of the Year(s), Olympic Medalists of the past (2008, 2016), multi quadrennium Campaigners and Olympians. The compiled years these sailors have devoted to enable the next 12 months is impressive, and I feel honored to work with them.

My message today is that the surge of Olympic fever that spreads across the US starting in 2020, is exciting and we all get up for team USA. But the reality is that we need to get up for Team USA right now. It’s crunch time, and our athletes need to focus on that simple formula. Many of them struggle financially or make compromises on their training strategies due to budget.

We have generous supporters, and are reaping the benefits daily. We thank all of you for the pledges and gifts.

But many still need more. We have medal potential athletes that know exactly what to do, but are limited by dollars. We have younger teams aiming for the future, and know this last year is a goldmine for experience and opportunity.

I’m not a fundraiser. I’m a coach that loves the Olympic game, and am devoted to helping our athletes achieve their dream. As a strategist, I know that the next few months are key to success, which is why I’m posting today.

If this message is striking a chord and you would like to help out, let it be the catalyst toward making a donation. There are multitudes of opportunities of ways to contribute, be it directly to athletes, classes, specific causes, or other.

Many of you already know who you can help. If you would like to discuss needy opportunities, please email me at luth2008@mac.com. Any level of support makes a difference.

Talent and commitment is here today – let’s insure we can cheer loudly and proudly a year from now.

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