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Olympic Diary: Sam Meech

Published on July 29th, 2020

A Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Sam Meech (NZL) is aiming to learn some new skills from other classes during the wait for Tokyo 2020.

Tell us about your memories of Rio 2016.
It was my first Olympics, so I’ve got a lot of really good memories from the event, but the highlight for me was definitely the Medal Race. I was in a pretty tough position going in; I was third, but there were a bunch of guys who could potentially pass me, so it’s definitely the most pressure I’ve felt in any one race so far in my career. It’s so cool being part of a wider New Zealand Olympic team. It’s representing your country, and I think that makes it even more special when you do win a medal.

What has lockdown been like for you? How did you train and keep fit onshore while you weren’t allowed to sail?
The Olympics being delayed by a year has obviously changed everyone’s plans. At the start of lockdown here in New Zealand, I bought some fitness equipment and was going pretty hard in the garage. Once we found out it had been postponed for a year, I was able to take a little bit of rest. We’re now allowed back on the water and I’ve been out a couple of weeks, although it’s been pretty hard as it’s getting quite cold here in New Zealand.

With Tokyo 2020 being rescheduled to 2021, what are your plans for the next 12 months, and how will you prepare and train for another year of Olympic campaigning?
I’m super lucky that I’ve got really good training partners, which really helps. There’s also quite a lot of other sailing going on in New Zealand. It’s a cool opportunity for me to learn to sail some other classes and try and learn some new things. I might be doing a bit of Moth racing and I’m looking forward to doing the New Zealand Keelboat Nationals later this year. But I really can’t wait until we’re allowed to travel, and I’m really looking forward to getting back on the start line in the Laser.

Tokyo 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


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