Tokyo 2020: Sharing creates caring

Published on February 17th, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Pursuing an Olympic campaign is to accept the most extreme test of sailing ability, and the commitment must be total to excel. A casual approach to the training and competition, the travel and study, and the fundraising and details won’t work.

While family and friends can appreciate the effort, it can be hard to see beyond that, particularly when event performance misses the podium. In the USA, it was easier to embrace the drive when dominating, but apathy has grown now in its absence.

However, within the all-encompassing pursuit, these are still people to cheer for, though it is not often enough we get a good view. People care when you give them something to care about, when you pull back the curtain and reveal your soul beyond the photos and social media updates.

The US Team Selection System is now advancing athletes for nomination to the Tokyo 2020 Team, with the following two people having succeeded in their first Olympic campaigns. Here they share their emotions following selection:

Stephanie Roble, Women’s Skiff Event (49erFx):
Wow, what a feeling! Last week we sailed a regatta series and medal race that changed our lives forever. I am absolutely honored and stoked to be representing Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this summer and to take home a bronze medal at the World Championship! A massive dream come true. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and the incredibly supportive people by my side (you know who you are). A special shout out to my insanely talented and bad ass teammates and coaches Maggie Shea (la Jefa), Giulia Conti, Dave Ullman, and Rob Seifer who constantly inspire and push me. Also to my fiancée Taylor & my family who have never stopped believing in me. Let’s go to Tokyo!

Riley Gibbs, Mixed Multihull Event (Nacra 17):
Bittersweet ending to the 2020 Worlds with the passing of my Grandpa. I’ve never experienced such highs and lows in my life and my hearts been torn in half; I know he would be extremely proud of me and I just wish I could share this experience with him. I’ve sacrificed a lot over the past four years in campaigning to represent the USA at the Olympics and I just wish I had a bit more time with him. All I can do now is look back on all the amazing experiences I’ve had with you and try my best to put a smile on is this difficult time. Dreaming of a day on the sand bar with you and the rest of the family. Thinking of everyone who’s supported and believed in me over the years has helped me deal with this, and to that I’ll be forever grateful of the love from my village.

TOKYO 2020 Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Olympic schedule: July 24 – Aug 9
Sailing schedule: July 26 – Aug 6

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