Rooting for our Olympic Sailors

Published on July 27th, 2021

With the Tokyo Olympic Games now underway, our U.S. Sailing Team athletes are the best we have and they’re giving it their best. Sailing World’s Jonathan Mckee recounts why we need to root for them no matter the outcome or the final medal count.

Olympics is happening now and soon the medals will be given out, the tales of heroics and tragedy that is the 2021 Olympics will be written for all time. As we watch from afar, I think we should all remember why the Olympics are so important, and how our United States Sailing Team is an overwhelmingly positive force for sailing in this country.

In our sport, there are lots of regattas, but there are a very small number that really represent the pinnacle of our sport, and none more than the Olympic Games. So many of the legends of sailing made their mark in the Olympics; Elvstrom, Melges, Schumann, Conner, Ainslie.

Now there is a new crop of top Olympic sailors, and these men and women are very, very good. They are superb athletes. They train relentlessly and scientifically. They have risen through the ranks over many years, and they continue to be driven by the pursuit of sailing their boat a little bit faster.

The U.S. Sailing Team is a diverse and powerful group. In each of the 10 classes, only one team from the U.S. can go and compete, so the competition for those spots is very intense. Every team had a different path to securing their Olympic dream, and each one has many great stories to tell. These athletes have had to deal with failure as well as success. Those that dealt with it well often went on to further success.

Some of our team is relatively young, and this is their first Olympic experience. Our FX (Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea), Nacra 17 (Riley Gibbs and Anna Weiss), Women’s 470 (Nikki Barns and Laura Dallman-Weiss) and Finn (Luke Muller) sailors are representing the United States at the highest level for the first time. They bring a battle hardened yet youthful passion to their efforts, and many will be back again in future Olympics, faster and smarter.

Some of our team are true veterans, and have been sailing hard at the highest levels for ten to twenty years. Our Men’s 470 (Stu McNay and David Hughes), Radial (Paige Railey), and RS:X (Farrah Hall and Pedro Pascual) are truly battle hardened, and they are bringing their tremendous experience and perseverance to the Olympic Regatta. – Full story

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