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US Olympic Team - Whoa, no Women 470 athletes

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Malcolm Page has just announced the US Olympic Team US SAILING TEAM  

  Interestingly,  no board sailors and no 470 women's team.   The US approach was previously to have a representative in each discipline no matter what.   Has the bar been raised?

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Whoa there IPLore...

First of all this is not the US Olympic Team. This is the US Sailing Team. These are not the sailors who will necessarily win selection for the 2020 Olympics.

Secondly, this is not the first time that US Sailing has not selected a representative in every Olympic discipline to the US Sailing Team. Last year, 2017 for example, the announcement about the US Sailing Team roster said...

  • No 49erFX, Women’s 470, Men’s RS:X or Women’s RS:X athletes have been added to the 2017 US Sailing Team as of this announcement, though it is possible that others could be added later in the year. 

     

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They used to name five sailors/teams for each class.  Usually only the top one or two received any funding from US Sailing.  My guess is they now only name those who have qualified for funding, and funding is probably harder to get.

And I don't mean to suggest that US Sailing is paying for their whole campaign.  Financing the campaign still falls almost completely on the shoulders of the sailors themselves, even gold medal contenders.

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What is really telling about the announced roster of the US Sailing Team is how few sailors in each class were selected. Truly shows the current depth of sailors who are interested in stepping up and trying for the Olympics.

Seems difficult to choose the top five sailors in each Olympic class to the US Sailing Team each year if there are not enough teams much les qualified teams to filled the roster. Great to see there is a standard to making the US Sailing Team.

The US truly has incredible depth in sailors nationwide, but very limited in sailors interested in the Olympic classes. This has been discussed to death regarding the problem, but still does not change the facts. 

The only 470 team on the listed has been to the last three Olyimpics (at least the skipper), and not produced a medal, but there is no other teams making a solid run at it so why not slide along and do another Olympics if no one else wants to or can step up. 

While I have a very high regard for Malcolm Page for his approach and what he brings to the US Sailing Team, he sure has an incredible challenge ahead of him that I hope he understands by now. I just hope the politics involved do not cloud his ability to field a top level team for 2020. 

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There wasn't anyone on the team last year either in 470W, and in two other disciplines if I remember correctly.  I imagine they want to put someone on the team worthy of the spot and a possible top 10 finish, instead of the only campaigner in that fleet. 

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What is really telling about the announced roster of the US Sailing Team is how few sailors in each class were selected. Truly shows the current depth of sailors who are interested in stepping up and trying for the Olympics.

Seems difficult to choose the top five sailors in each Olympic class to the US Sailing Team each year if there are not enough teams much les qualified teams to filled the roster. Great to see there is a standard to making the US Sailing Team.

The US truly has incredible depth in sailors nationwide, but very limited in sailors interested in the Olympic classes. This has been discussed to death regarding the problem, but still does not change the facts. 

The only 470 team on the listed has been to the last three Olyimpics (at least the skipper), and not produced a medal, but there is no other teams making a solid run at it so why not slide along and do another Olympics if no one else wants to or can step up. 

While I have a very high regard for Malcolm Page for his approach and what he brings to the US Sailing Team, he sure has an incredible challenge ahead of him that I hope he understands by now. I just hope the politics involved do not cloud his ability to field a top level team for 2020. 

i have some friends that are olympic hopefuls that haven't made the team yet. if they had more support they might be on the team - weird how that works... 

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The only 470 team on the listed has been to the last three Olyimpics (at least the skipper), and not produced a medal, but there is no other teams making a solid run at it so why not slide along and do another Olympics if no one else wants to or can step up. 

Aus will only send people to the Olympics if they're a medal chance. For sailing, that means you must be a top 10 world ranking, it's very strictly applied.

Govt. funding is crap, enough to attend one overseas regatta per year. Anyone serious about selection must spend a lot of the year overseas competing, so needs a lot of financial backing ($200k to $300k at least). No wonder swimming hopefuls are a lot easier to recruit.

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It would appear Malcom is applying some of the Aussie process to the US sailing team. The only US 470team to make the US Sailing Team is currently ranked in the top ten in the world. Not sure about the other teams, but it is probably similar.

Having support of US Sailing as the MNA is important in terms of gaining access to some world level events such as the World Cup, but in the US  we  know all too well there is very little support for someone interested in starting down an Olympic path.

Making the US Sailing Team may open doors for private funding but outside of that you get a nice Jacket and some awesome coaching from time to time, but overall the US Team has very limited funding after all their overhead costs are covered. The group at Oakcliff has tried to grow and provide access to Olympic classes such as the skiffs and 470’s, but with a lack of any class infrastructure in the US there is no real traction. 

Maybe the reason for interest in the youth programs and growing sailors much earlier so there is less of a learning curve trying to get college age sailors up to speed in the various Olympic classes. It is hard to go from a Club 420 with Spinnaker and Trap then go into college sailing then try and make the transition to a 49er or 470. It is a huge learning curve to be ranked in the Worlds top ten and takes a huge commitment in money and time that not many young adults can stomach. The pipeline program along with the Olympic Development Program has solid merits, but will take a while to produce sailors able to win Olympic medals.

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. It is a huge learning curve to be ranked in the Worlds top ten and takes a huge commitment in money and time that not many young adults can stomach. The pipeline program along with the Olympic Development Program has solid merits, but will take a while to produce sailors able to win Olympic medals.

While this statement is certainly true... I think your readers might miss the forest for a tree here.   You don't just  move from competitive level to competitive level and then say... Huh...  I think college is over.... What now?... OH!...  I should go make a run for the (NBA, Olympics, FIFA World cup).   Nope... successful world class individuals are driven by something internal and this plus intrinsic talent were evident at an early age.    The USA conceit/actual history was that the boat class experience was irrelevant and you could ID the olympic competitor and coach  them up for a medal within two quads in any class.... Certainly you could get them into the top 10 in the world within two years.     Dean Brenner (Paige's predecessor) would use Lovell and Ogeltree (Silver in Tornado) as proof of this model.  The last 12 years have  shown that the USA /College Sailing model is busted!

The notion that solving the huge commitment in money and time for 20 somethings will yield a positive result is founded in this old model.   So, we can't pretend that our typically American  throw money at it fashion  will solve this for the USA.

Paige's approach in building an Olympic Development Program with focused early training and selection along with world class results is the proper model... time and money are essential no doubt.  but (no disrespect intended to would be competitors) ... Paige holding the line on what is expected of Olympic sailors is great news.  

What I would like to hear about are examples of how these individuals can use the existing college sailing structure AND college itself to  meet their personal goals AND win medals for the USA.

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Be careful what you wish for. A focus on Olympic medals can mean that everything is seen through the lens of Olympic classes. So if you want sponsored coaching and support, you must sail an Olympic class. That usually means sailing where those classes are sailed, so offshore for USA and AUS with little trickle down to local sailing.

I've sailed in a fleet with many Olympic sailors (with me at the very tail end of the fleet), but not in an Olympic class.

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The comments presented are all very relevant. It is great to hear some educated perspectives on this topic. There is a very important balance and fully agree going for an Olympic berth is something you need to have inside your soul and you need to believe in yourself. But money thrown at the right program will bring results. Hard to know which program is the right one though! It will be interesting to see who jumps in over these next two years and if they can rise through the ranks.

Also agree it would be great to see how the college sailing programs and personal Olympic campaigns could be more aligned like they are in other sports such as track and field. I think some schools are looking at this. Yale certainly supports their Olympiads as do a few other programs. But so much more could be done. But as noted above at what price.

I do agree that Paige’s support of the Olympic Development Program is the correct path. Along with the his policy of holding the line on what is expected from potential Olympiads.

Well I have rambled on way to long. Pushed my post count up over 100. Only took 13 years. 

 

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Be careful what you wish for. A focus on Olympic medals can mean that everything is seen through the lens of Olympic classes. So if you want sponsored coaching and support, you must sail an Olympic class. That usually means sailing where those classes are sailed, so offshore for USA and AUS with little trickle down to local sailing.

I've sailed in a fleet with many Olympic sailors (with me at the very tail end of the fleet), but not in an Olympic class.

as opposed to.... 

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That is (now) not he case here in Ireland. There is a completely separate scheme none Olympic classes to get access to (Irish certified) coaching via grants. It's good to have clear water between them to be honest. The HP funding has long been ring fenced. The non-Olympic provision is now similarly protected from being raided by the HP team.

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