Sarah Douglas: Rewriting the playbook

Published on May 4th, 2020

Success at the Olympic level requires planning to ensure peak performance at the games, but since nothing is known what events will be held between now and the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 next year, that makes planning a problem.

But disruption creates opportunity, and since every previous playbook on how to succeed at the Olympic Games is now in tatters, those that succeed in Tokyo will have mastered this new reality better than the rest.

Sarah Douglas, training to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Women’s One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial), hopes to break that code.

Having previously lived and competed for Barbados, she’s been with family on the island for lockdown, and now that Barbados has ‘bent the curve’ and restrictions are being lifted on May 4, she is getting back on the water… here’s an update:


Life in Lockdown
For the last four weeks, my family and I have been restricted to the curtilage of our home. As an athlete that is almost always outdoors or traveling, this has been a challenge, but I found having a routine has kept me productive.

For a month with no sailing, I focused on fitness and having the same daily routine. My strength and conditioning coach stepped up my program with a heavy focus on physical training and recovery. Each morning was dedicated to fitness while my afternoons consisted of Zoom calls, administrative work or an occasional Netflix break.

Getting fresh air is a key part of my family’s daily routine, so we end every afternoon with a 2.5km sunset walk around the marina.

If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend Virtual Regatta! Just like Tuesday and Thursday night racing at yacht clubs, my friend group is having a blast racing against each other twice a week; we race big boats on Tuesdays and dinghies on Thursdays.

What’s Next?
Now that restrictions are being lifted here in Barbados, I am very excited to sail for the next two weeks before I head back to Canada. With the continued support of the Barbados Sailing Association and the community on the island, we will be able to get back on the water today (May 4, 2020).

The focus remains on fitness, sailing, and recovery and I’ll be making the most of this opportunity to continue to improve before I go back to Canada. Once I get back to Toronto, I will have to complete a 2-week quarantine and then move apartments.

While it is not clear when yacht clubs will open, I am optimistic and hopeful that I will be back on the water in Canada soon after I am done with my quarantine.


Olympic 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

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

Details: https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/olympic/

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