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An Olympian’s return to competition

Published on May 18th, 2021

After missing out on the podium at the Rio Olympics, Women’s 470 skipper Annie Haeger stepped away from the sport that defined her, but the flame has been rekindled. Report by Marty Siederer for Sailing World:

When Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha finished seventh in the 2016 Rio Olympics women’s 470 medal race, Haeger’s distraught reaction, disappointment and frustration went beyond what viewers saw on television, which one commentator described as “the devastation of Olympic competition.”

“I felt that I had let everyone down,” Haeger recently recalled from her home in Vancouver, BC. “There are so many people who get behind you when you compete in events like the Olympics: family, friends, supporters, fans, coaches and sponsors; not just in the four years leading up to the Games, but throughout your life. I’ve been sailing since I was five years old, and I felt that I had let all of them down.”

After that fateful race, Haeger sought out her then-boyfriend/now husband Luke Ramsay, who was competing in the Nacra 17 for the Canadian team. “After the defeat, I needed to be alone for about an hour. But the first person who showed up was Luke, who was preparing for his competition,” Haeger says. “We derigged the boat in complete silence which was exactly what I needed at the time. And that was the last time I touched a 470.”

Haeger describes the days after the Olympics as being “super lost.” Her competitive spirit was broken. “Sailing had become a job that I felt I was no longer good at,” she says. – Full report

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