I have been taking many steps towards a GOLD Medal in Olympic Sailing lately.
Since making the decision to pursue an Olympic Sailing Campaign for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil I have had to jump through many hurdles, make life altering decisions and deal with the stress and anxiety of an Olympic nature.
Much of what I have had to do to be able to be successful are personal and by that I mean I needed to get myself to a place where I could be competitive. Physically I needed to gain muscle and strength to be able to compete with the “big boys” elite athletes in our sport. My conditioning and training with the US Sailing Team Trainer and Physical Therapist, Chris Herrera has helped to set me on the right track to have the strength, endurance and stamina required for Olympic Sailing. Mentally, well I was 14 when I made this decision so I have grown both mentally and emotionally. This is not to say that I don’t get overstressed or anxious from time to time (trust me) but I have much better coping mechanisms today than I did when I first started down this path. Spiritually, well lets just say that I know that I would not be able to be doing what I am today without the gifts that God continually showers upon my life.
All of these are necessary for me to excel in my sport and definitely required for me to make the Olympic Sailing team in the USA, but the most important step I have taken recently is the addition of my sailing partner and skipper, Katie Flood. Katie and I have sailed together on and off for the past year. Like me, she has developed and grown considerably over that time and so we sat down recently (along with our advisors and coaches) and decided to commit to sailing together in an attempt to push the boundaries of the US Sailing Team in the Nacra 17 class and ultimately win the US Olympic Trials to secure our position on the Olympic Sailing Team for 2016.
Katie is new to the helm. In fact when we started sailing together she outright refused to drive! Over time, her confidence has grown and she began to take the tiller and today she is getting accustom to driving us to the front of the fleet as we race against our much older 30-something competition. Katie, like me will continue to develop as we increase our time training together and the level of competition that we are sailing against. Ultimately we both feel that we are competitive against the fleet and will be able to pull it together over the next year and some to be victorious throughout US Sailing Team Trials for the Mixed Multihull class.
Katie is a pretty dynamic girl. She has lived her entire life in Miami, Florida and has been on Biscane Bay in a variety of boats her entire life. She is competitive in the Byte, Hobie 16, F16 and even aboard a windsurfer. It is Katies life away from the water that is pretty amazing. Katie is a Senior at the Design and Architecture High School and is an award winning artist. Her interests and ability to transition from the competitive world of Olympic level sailing into her art and design work give her a unique perspective and the ability to turn it up to 11 when she needs to be highly competitive on the water!
Together, Katie and I are the youngest team competing for the one position on the US Olympic Sailing Team. Being teenagers gives us a huge advantage because we can recover from injuries much more rapidly than our competition, we have quicker reflexes, better eyes and a stronger ability to adapt to the ever changing competitive landscape in our fleet. Since we are the #TeenageSailingTeam, we represent every teenage and youth sailor in America and our victory over the older folks will be proof that youth sailing is strong in America and that there is nothing that can stop teenage sailors from accomplishing anything they work their butts off to achieve! Make Sure to follow us on Twitter @Followmetorio!
We are fighting an uphill batter to become the youngest team on the US Sailing Team for the Rio Games in 2016 and we are doing all the right things to make it happen. Our coaching, travel and equipment are expensive and two high-school kids need you help so that we can overcome the odds and win Gold in Rio! Will you please help by donating even one dollar, or more if you can? I can’t tell you how much your support will help us to accomplish our goal. Thank you for supporting the co-ed teen sailing team of Katie Flood and David Hein!
Learn more about Katie Flood