The US Olympic sailing team won nine medals out of 10 events at the 1992 Barcelona Games but has gone downhill in performance since. At London 2012 they failed to win a medal and at Rio 2016 they won a single bronze. Australia's double Olympic gold medallist in the 470 class, Malcolm Page, was appointed head of US Olympic sailing in November last year as part of a strategy to arrest the slide. Here is the first major announcement since his appointment:
Portsmouth, R.I. – US Sailing today released a new logo for the US Sailing Team, which will adorn national team athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic quadrennium and beyond. The top sailors and teams in each Olympic class are selected annually for the national team roster. US Sailing helps these athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. In late March, 18 sailors were named to the 2017 US Sailing Team.
“The new logo will provide our team’s fans and supporters with a visual cue that we are embarking on a new era,” said two-time Olympic Champion Malcolm Page (Newport, R.I.), the Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “When people see the US Sailing Team logo, we want our audience to associate it with excellence, and with the pride they have in our athletes. The future is bright for racing in the U.S., and this new logo is a key symbol of our positive strategic direction.”
US Sailing demonstrates leadership in high performance sailing through management of the national team, as well as through the Olympic Development Program (ODP) and its wider youth racing strategy. The US Sailing Team has a long and distinguished history, having competed at every Olympic sailing event held since 1928. American sailors have taken home 60 Olympic medals and six Paralympic medals, leading the overall medal tally at both events.
Moving forward, the US Sailing Team will have three primary areas of strategic focus. The team will foster a positive team culture while also focusing on athlete skill-building and creating long-term performance sustainability. U.S. athletes, aided by world-class coaches and their own communities, will bring their individual talents to bear towards the common goal of national success at the Olympics.
“Based on my years of experience as an athlete on the Australian Sailing Team, I believe that success at the highest levels of our sport can only come by truly coordinating our objectives and resources,” said Page. “The needed athlete skill-building will be made possible by a positive team culture, along with a renewed focus on performance excellence, implementing technology, and acquiring the resources needed to ensure that everything we are doing is top-flight.”
Page also noted that aligning the team’s strategy for securing medals with US Sailing’s wider youth development efforts is a key factor in the team’s plans going forward. “Achieving a sustainable performance model will be a central pillar of our program, and will be made possible by implementing a unified, holistic youth sailing strategy from US Sailing,” said Page. “We intend to map out the full pathway from introductory sailing up through Olympic racing, and get behind a model that supports all of our constituents.”
From 1928-1975 the U.S. national team was managed in partnership with Olympic class associations by the North American Yacht Racing Union (NAYRU). After NAYRU was dissolved in 1975, the selection, management and support of the US Sailing Team was given over to the U.S. Yacht Racing Union (USYRU), the congressionally-mandated National Governing Body (NGB) of the sport of sailing that has been known as US Sailing since 1991.
At the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, fifteen US Sailing Team athletes competed in ten Olympic classes, with Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) taking home bronze in the men’s heavyweight Finn class. At the Paralympics, six US Sailing Team athletes raced in three adaptive classes, with Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) winning silver in the Sonar class, the three-person Paralympic keelboat.