Stories of Sportsmanship
Published on November 8th, 2022
Before Caleb Paine (USA) won the bronze medal in the Finn event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, he had to overturn a jury decision which had disqualified Paine in a protest hearing. Paine felt he had been wronged, and when discovered broadcast footage backed up his claim, the jury reversed their decision.
For Peter Holmberg (ISV), who found himself in a protest during the Seoul 1988 Olympics, he too felt that he had not committed a foul, but for him he got support from someone who could have easily benefited from Holmberg’s disqualification.
While the final Finn podium had Jose Doreste (ESP) with gold, Holmberg (ISV) with silver, and John Cutler (NZL) with bronze, getting that result included some drama as Holmberg shares:
I started on port at the pin, and Jose Doreste started on my windward hip. We were crossing the fleet, but one loud starboard tacker was close, so I hailed Doreste for room to tack. Doreste hesitated, not wanting to tack, but eventually did which forced me to nearly foul the starboard tacker.
However, I was protested so I had to protest Doreste in defense. Thankfully, John Cutler witnessed the incident, and it was his testimony which exonerated us both. So Cutler, who got Bronze, witnessed for Silver and Gold. Pretty cool. The good guys do win.
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