Reflections on losing the Olympic Trials

Published on March 16th, 2024

The road to the Paris 2024 Olympics ended for Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen in their pursuit to represent Canada in the Women’s Skiff event. Here’s their report:

We regret to inform you that we did not succeed in our Olympic Trials. Despite the tremendous effort we’ve put in over the past few years, it’s disheartening to have fallen short when it mattered the most. The belief that wholehearted dedication guarantees success is unfortunately not always true.

Our journey, both on and off the water, has been filled with immense dedication and sacrifice, making our inability to perform at our best at the World Championships all the more challenging to accept.

While this outcome is difficult, we take pride in our collective achievements throughout the years. We extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has stood by us, offering their support and encouragement every step of the way. Thank you for believing in us!

Reflections on the World Championships
After several months spent training in Lanzarote, sailing on each race course, we felt more than prepared for what the forecast would throw at us. We had multiple top 4 finishes during the lead up at practice regattas and put in the work. Like many major events we were thrown some curveballs, but during this World Championships we weren’t able to hit them.

Day 1: Brought survival conditions where we were only able to get two races done before we were sent in. We capsized in the second race but knew it was a long series.

Day 2: We had unstable conditions with only two races being completed again, We had some comebacks but we were still missing top 5 result which we knew we were capable of.

Days 3: Four races scheduled and there was a lot of room to climb. The conditions were all about speed and starts in the medium breeze and chop- this was not our day and we couldn’t put the pieces together. We missed gold fleet after underperforming.

The disappointment we felt this day is difficult to put into words, and will stick with us for the rest of our lives. We have grown so much as a team in all conditions over the past 7 months and we have been more confident than ever in our sailing.

Once in silver fleet, our trials were out of our hands and we had to sit back and see how the other team performed. the Lewin-LaFrance sisters had an incredible finals series and qualified for the Olympics hitting the top 8 benchmark during the medal race.

The feeling of loosing control of your trials is heart-wrenching. We focused on staying strong and united as a team.

The qualifiers of this event do not define our efforts or abilities over the years. As hard as this chapter is going to be to overcome, we will remember how we handled each hurdle, and all our successes we had.

Gratitude Amidst Adversity: A Heartfelt Thank You
The depth of gratitude we hold for all of you who have supported us along this journey is immeasurable.

The only thing more devastating than our loss in the trials is falling short of the goal that so many of you believed in. Our community’s unwavering support has been incredible, and we are profoundly thankful to everyone who has stood by us over the years.

This 2024 campaign has been immensely fulfilling for us. We believe we’ve grown significantly as athletes, sailors, and individuals, and the lessons we’ve gained along the way are boundless.

Though it may sound cliché, it’s undeniable that it takes a village. Knowing that people such as yourself have consistently supported us has been the most gratifying part of the last three years.

Thank you to our families.
Thank you to our sponsors.
Thank you to our supporters.
Thank you to our coaching and medical team.
Thank you to RCYC and KYC.
Thank you to Sail Canada.
Thank you!

What’s Next: Moving Forward After the Trials
The Paris Olympic Chapter has closed for us, and we will be taking some time to process this loss and lick our wounds. However, rest assured, this is not the end of our sailing journey. We are resilient, and amidst this setback, we are gearing up for the next chapter in our lives with determination and hope.

We have an exciting announcement in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates. Your unwavering support means the world to us, and we’re grateful to have had you alongside us on this journey.

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program*:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7 (41)
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6 (41)
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470 (19)
Men’s Skiff – 49er (20)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (20)
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (19)
* Quota per event in parenthesis but does not include Universality Places (2 men, 2 women)

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 28-August 9

• Paris website:
• World Sailing microsite:

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