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US Olympic Team Selection Reforms

Chris Love 6 years ago

US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee recently announced a huge change in the way the US Sailing Team selects which sailors get to represent the country at the Olympics. For years it was a winner-take-all trials regatta for each olympic class, held a year before the Olympics, that was open to any US sailor who wanted to compete. Going into effect for the 2012 Games, and presumably for future Games as well, the Olympic sailors will be chosen based on their combined performance at two international regattas. This quadrennium the two regattas are Sail for Gold in Weymouth (the same site as the Olympic regatta) and the ISAF World Championship in Perth. For the majority of sailors who have competed in past trials, this new system means they likely won't even be in the running, that is unless they can fund two expensive international trips to England and Australia. But, as Dean Brenner explains in this interview with US SAILING, if the goal is to send the best athlete to the Games, that person will already be doing those regattas as part of his or her campaign. What do you think of this new format? Will it produce different results than the traditional domestic trials system? Is it a more accurate or fair test of a candidate's ability to sail in the Olympics in 2012? This is one of many reforms the US Sailing Team has made recently in an attempt to return to the medal-winning dominance of past decades. Do you think it will work?

Comments4 comments

Reponse 6 years ago

Totally agree with "About Time". The whole "olympic campaign" so I don't have to get a job and I can just get money from my mom and dad to sail around thing and call it an olympic "campaign" and maybe somehow push over the favorites so that I can accidently qualify is terrible. The Olympic committee did a great job of providing a new system that will truly give the serious "olympic campaign" people something they feel more comfortable with. Now you can no longer say "I'm doing an olympic campaign" unless you plan to also go to these international regattas and compete against the best. No longer can you just do Miami OCR and say I'm going for the Olympics. If your going to sail against the best at the olympics, you might as well see how to stack up against your competitors first, then the US will clearly see who is the correct representative for each class.

About time 6 years ago

the US has been falling behind the UK for long enough. no the new qualification system will not get us on level with them in terms of medals, but it will prevent a less qualified person from accidentally qualifying for the olympics. it's all part of a general overhaul of the US sailing team that i think is at least a step in the right direction. now we just need some more money!

Head to Head 6 years ago

Yeah, but wasn't it more exciting when it was head to head? You got to see who could beat who. One regatta. One winner. Now it's just "who can perform better overall?" If you lost by 1 point in the old system, you knew that the other guy beat you fair and square. If you lose by 1 point now, there are so many factors that go into it. How do they even calculate "best combined performance"?

Better 6 years ago

The best sailors will go. Really no argument for who is better with this system.

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