Olympian Helena Scutt: Flying high

Published on July 29th, 2021

On the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games, Helena Scutt, who competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, in the women’s 49erFX, spoke to Michelle Slade, St. Francis Sailing foundation. Helena shared her heart-felt experience when she expresses just how proud she is of Team USA sailing athletes, as well for her competitors-turned-friends from other countries, and the Team USA athletes from other sports that she met last quadrennium.

Helena Scutt

29-year-old Helena Scutt is a force to be reckoned with, on and off the water. The Olympian runs a busy schedule, spending her working hours as a mechanical engineer at Synapse Product Development, a product development consultancy, where she enjoys the variety of projects that comes with consulting and can exercise her love for problem-solving and making concepts come to life.

After hours she is almost always on the water, having found her groove in the local San Francisco Bay Area sailing scene atop the foiling moth. She’s also a valuable member of the Advisory Committee for the St Francis Sailing Foundation.

“I am immensely proud of everyone who gave it their all through such a roller coaster of a year,” Scutt said. “This Games will be different, but it remains such a rare opportunity to showcase your talent on a global stage. I hope all the athletes can cherish this once-in-a-lifetime moment in their lives, regardless of the outcome and circumstances, and that the Olympics and Paralympics can bring some hope and unity for the world right now.”

While the next few Olympic weeks will surely be intense, before long the Games will be over and athletes will be faced with the often-dreaded task of figuring out, “what next”. Following her 2016 Olympic experience, Scutt dove straight into 9 months of finishing a Master’s degree at Stanford.

“I buckled down for an intense year and was grateful to have a clear objective to ground me,” Scutt said. She also quickly fit sailing back into her life by rolling straight into a Nacra 17 campaign for gold in 2020, but the partnership broke down in late 2018.

“Stopping that pursuit left a big hole in me that in some way I am still trying to fill, because I love sailing and that intensity so much,” Scutt shared. “Compartmentalizing my life (instead of having one all-encompassing goal) is still a little weird to me, and I think that’s natural for anyone who is deeply driven and loves to challenge themselves. – Full story

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