Somebody pinch us, this can’t be real life…
Somehow, after 3.5 years of sailing together, competing in dozens of events, traveling to more than a dozen countries together, enduring the stress of the Olympic Trials, and coming out victorious, here we are… just 3 days away from walking out of our front doors in San Diego and Seattle to head to Houston (for our send-off party and Team USA processing) and then on Rio de Janeiro for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.
Thank you to our sponsors: Expedia, Spinnaker Watches, Oakley, and Avasol sunscreen. Also, thank you the St Francis Sailing Foundation, Seattle Yacht Club Foundation, and Northern California Olympians Foundation. Of course, thanks to the sponsors and supporters of the US Sailing Team Sperry, especially our title sponsor Sperry.
To our family, friends, and fans, thank you. Whether we are next door or on the other side of the world, we have been touched and motivated by your excitement and generosity. When we needed to fundraise last Oct/Nov to compete in the Olympic Trials, you came through for us and when the big events came around, we were able to focus on sailing and get the job done. That is a true team effort.
For the best insight into what we put on the line, you can watch the Uncharted Waters film for free online at http://uncharted.sunbrella.com/. One hour long, it is the best way to understand what a sailing Olympic campaign is like, so you’ll have even more to cheer for next month.
Obviously competing successfully against the best in the world in sailing is our goal. That is what is on our mind as we grind through a tough workout after sailing for 4 hours earlier that day or meticulously check over every little part of our boat, and that is what is on our mind as we pour over our coach’s video footage, rewinding and replaying, rewinding and replaying…
But simultaneously, this journey has been a lot more than that. For instance, Sunbrella’s “Girl Power” video about Helena disproving stereotypes in engineering and sailing reached over 41,000 people on our Facebook page alone, thanks to men and women of all ages sharing it and tagging their friends. We love that we are able to use our platform as young sailors to inspire others, in sailing and beyond. We’ve spoken to hundreds of kids around the country and seen their faces light up when they hold our Pan American Games medal. We may not be the most famous athletes, but I hope we are some of the most relatable and genuine.
This is our last post here until after the Games. We will be posting to our team Facebook page until August 6th. After that we will be fully focused on our racing until we are done.
We are proud to represent our families, our communities, our universities, our sport, and our country. Go Team USA!
Helena & Paris