Pushing through the pain for Tokyo 2020

Published on July 21st, 2021

The trend toward high performance equipment for the Olympic Games has turned the focus from athleticism to injury. For the Men’s and Women’s Skiff, the muscles and ligaments get wracked. On the Mixed Multihull, the blades are a bit more lethal.

All three events are at odds with the conditions of Sagami Bay which can kick up the kind of chop that can turn Tokyo 2020 into a race of survival. But at least for Kiwi sailor Erica Dawson, a miraculous recovery from a broken leg will allow her to fight the fight.

Dawson and teammate Micah Wilkinson had been training on their Nacra 17 catamaran alongside the Australian team in the build up to the Games in June when Dawson fell off the boat, hit the rudder and broke the fibula in her left leg.

With just five weeks before their event at the Games got underway, the odds were against Dawson being fit enough to take part in a sport that demands agility and lower-body strength.

However, this week saw Dawson return to the water with Wilkinson to test her broken leg, and she was able to successfully complete the training session.

“I think the fleet was pretty surprised to see us on the water three-and-a-half weeks after breaking my leg,” Dawson said before Wilkinson added: “You could see the jaws dropping under the boom as she walked into the boat park to go sailing.”

“I guess what I know is that the bone is healed and anything I do isn’t going to damage it,” Dawson continued. “Yes, it’s going to be sore but a lot of it is mental and that’s what I’m working on at the moment.

“Every day my leg improves so much. A week ago I was still on crutches and being wheeled through the airport. A week from now it will be heaps better.”

Source: NZ Herald

Tokyo 2020 detailsRace informationEntry listHow to watch

Race schedule is staggered for the ten sailing events from July 25 to August 4.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
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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