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Olympic Day Celebrated in Rhode Island

Junior Sailors attend clinic with members of 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams

Newport, R.I. (July 11, 2012) – Junior sailors had the opportunity to meet and learn from members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams on July 10 as US Sailing presented Olympic Day at Sail Newport.

2012 Olympic Day - Images by US Sailing Team

Organized by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), Olympic Day is observed annually around the world to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, and US Sailing’s one-day event commemorated the spirit of the Games and gave insight into Team USA athletes headed to the 2012 Games, which are set to take place in less than 16 days.

Athletes in attendance included 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team member Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass), and 2012 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team members Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.), JP Creignou (Paris, France), Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.), Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Tom Brown (Castine, Maine).

Thirty 420 sailors from Sail Newport (Newport, R.I.), Ida Lewis Yacht Club (Newport, R.I.), and Conanicut Yacht Club (Jamestown, R.I.) gathered for a question and answer session in which team members explained how they began sailing and offered friendly advice for junior sailors. “You have to learn how to be a good loser,” Jen French explained, “You’ll never be a good winner if you don’t know how to be a good loser.”

A “chalk talk” style discussion led by Stuart McNay followed a spirited question and answer session. Junior sailors were asked what they believed were the elements of a good start, and Olympic and Paralymic team members offered tactical pointers to help improve speed and boat handling.

Following lunch, a 420 race clinic was held with McNay as a guest coach. Focusing specifically on starts and boat handling, junior sailors participated in multiple practice races. McNay offered pointers during the races and advice on what sailors could do to improve during their next race. “It was great to hear what all the kids thought about it,” McNay said at the conclusion of the day, “and I hope that some of the things I said they’ll be able to take with them in their racing in the future.”

Exclusive video of US Sailing Team Olympic Day:

The 2012 Olympic Games are scheduled for July 27 – August 12 in London, England. The Olympic Sailing Regatta will take place July 29 – August 11 in Weymouth and Portland, England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London.
About Olympic Day
Olympic Day, held annually, is celebrated by thousands of people in more than 160 countries. Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. The goal was to promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.
Nowadays, Olympic Day is developing into much more than just a sports event. Based on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover”, National Olympic Committees are organizing sports, cultural and educational activities.

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit us at