Vote for Scandone and McKinnon
Published on May 3rd, 2022
The Gold medal winning 2008 Paralympic Sailing Team of Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon has been named as finalist for the Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame Class of 2022 in the Paralympic Team category.
On May 2-16, votes for the duo can be cast once a day to help determine the Class of 2022, which will mark the first class inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2019. The 2022 induction class will be unveiled on June 1 and the ceremony will be held in Colorado Springs on June 24, 2022.
Nick Scandone started sailing Sabots in Southern California, moving to college sailing when he enrolled at UC Irvine where he was an All-American. After college, Nick campaigned in the 470, narrowly missing team selection in 1992.
Nick’s world turned in 2002 when he was diagnosed with ALS, and while he managed his health, he quit his job to pursue a medal in the Paralympic Games. Little was known at the time how connected his health and sailing would become.
He began in the singlehanded event, winning the 2005 2.4mR Open World Championship. He was named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2005, making him the only Paralympic sailor ever to achieve the honor. However, by the end of 2006, his condition had advanced to the point where he was physically unable to participate in the 2.4-metre class.
Scandone moved to the doublehanded event, teaming with Maureen McKinnon in the SKUD 18, and the team qualified to represent the USA at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics. Nick was selected as the U.S. flag bearer and the team went on to win a gold medal.
Nick lived far beyond expectations, and with his Paralympic goal achieved, he passed away at 42 years on January 2, 2009.
“The sport of sailing has lost a great competitor and the most inspirational person most of us will ever know,” said Dean Brenner, Chairman of US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Program, following his death. “Words can’t describe the pride so many people felt watching Nick take the last few steps towards his dream in China. He was a gold medalist on and off the water, and we’ll miss him dearly.”
In 1995, Maureen tripped while pushing her bicycle and fell 13 feet off a seawall in Rockland, Maine. Landing in shallow water she became paralyzed from the waist down, but a discovery of para sailing led to four Paralympic cycles. Following Beijing 2008, she got back to the Games in 2016 with Ryan Porteous, finishing fifth, and would serve on the US Sailing Board of Directors for five years.
Maureen was the first woman to be a member of the U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team and the first woman to represent the United States and win gold in Paralympic sailing. She also served on the US Sailing Board of Directors for five years.
To cast your votes, click here.