You know Jessica Claflin is a part of the FollowMeToRio campaign, so now is a good time to learn more about her.
At 23 years old, Jessica Claflin dreams of representing the USA in the 2016 Olympics. Jessica doesn’t believe you should simply DREAM BIG, but you should THINK BIG and LIVE BIG. So far she has conducted herself in accordance with her beliefs.
Jessica Claflin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s degree in Fluid and Thermal Sciences from Brown University. Jessica earned these degrees while managing her dyslexia, a condition she was diagnosed with in the second grade. Obviously, she is a big thinker. But does she actually live big? The answer is yes.
Even before she started college, Jessica was racing sailboats internationally, juggling sailing and high school at The Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island. She was also a Girl Scout and frequent volunteer. When Jessica entered Brown, she knew maintaining her status as an international sailor was important. So once again she balanced her life perfectly: schoolwork, collegiate sailing, and international racing were all somehow crammed into her Brown experience, and Jessica not only got out alive, she thrived. When it came time to decide on which and or whether to attend graduate school, Jessica again thought of her Olympic dream. Jessica decide to stay at Brown University so that she could complete her Master’s degree in only one year, doubling her work load, but allowing her to have enough time to train for the 2016 Olympics.
In the summer between her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, Jessica was one of six recipients to earn a TechCollective fellowship. This gave her the opportunity to work in the medical device industry, collaborating on and developing new designs for bone marrow concentrators, specific drug delivery devices, bladders that repair stomach lining, and even robotic surgical devices, all imaginative designs that will one day become part of our world’s medical reality. This experience showed Jessica that this was indeed the field she wants to make a career of. However, upon her Master’s graduation, Jessica turned down several job offers in order to train for the Olympics, delaying the dream job in order to achieve her Olympic dream.
Thus far, discipline has allowed Jessica to accomplish her academic dreams, and discipline will be what be what allows her to fulfill her athletic objective. Jessica and her partner David are the only Nacra-17 athletes in the USA that train full time for the 2016 Olympics. Jessica is on the water 300 days a year.
Don’t be fooled, sailing may be her dream and her passion, but to reach the Olympics, it must also be her job. Though she views training for the Olympics as her current job, giving it the same level of diligence and determination as any boss would expect from their employee, sailing is not her career. Jessica plans to go back to her engineering roots and designing devices that will save the next generation of athletes and improve the quality of life for todays generation. The Olympics are a chapter in her life, a HUGE chapter, but not the entire book. This means that her intensity is higher than that of many others who in many cases use the Olympics as a way to become professional athletes, and sometimes must compromise their Olympic training for other sailing opportunities. Instead of viewing the Olympic journey as a leg of the marathon that would be her sailing career, Jessica is treating it as a sprint. That is why she and David WILL bring home the gold medal for the USA, because the brightest stars burn the fastest and they are the only American Nacra team giving it 100% for 2016.
Just because she does not want to compete as a profession does not mean Jessica wants her Olympic experiences to end in 2016. She doesn’t. In fact, she wants her adventures to inspire the next generation to go after what they want to achieve. To that end, she has started a foundation called SailSmart (www.sailstrong.org), which goes into schools and shows the science behind a physical activity and then has the children do the activity, making a clear connection between academics and athletics.Jessica doesn’t believe in limitations, she wants each child to understand you don’t have to be a “geek” or a “jock”, you can be anything and everything you want to be. That is why Jessica will represent the USA in the 2016 Olympics. She cannot allow herself to be pigeon holed into the role of “Brainiac”. She has more depth and talent than that. She cannot disappoint the next generation by preaching multidisciplinary accomplishment, then not practice it herself.
Olympic campaigns are expensive there is the cost of the equipment, the gym, the trainers, the coaches, the travel, the housing, and the food…being an Olympic athlete is hungry work. While some competitors have enough money to simply pay out of pocket, Jessica has always had to work for what she wants. She and her partner David will gladly act as representatives for companies, providing services such as: acting as spokespeople, event marketing opportunities, modeling the companies’ products in photo shoots or commercials, advertising for companies on their sails or gear or on the team’s social media outlets, or however a corporation might find us most useful, we are there to meet your needs. Both Jessica and David understand how important it is to reach ones target audience. As the youngest Nacra 17 team, Jessica and David provide companies with unique access to the younger generation of consumers.
As Carol Cronin, 2004 American Olympic Sailor, told Jessica at the start of her campaign “Just remember: dreaming about an Olympic campaign is always fun. Doing one is often way too hard to be fun.” Help Jessica Claflin bring Olympic Gold home to the USA in 2016. Please donate below, every single dollar helps Jessica get that much closer to her BIG DREAM.