Manage episode 268962097 series 2527952
This month double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson goes back to her sailing roots as she talks about success and failure with six very different multiple Olympic medallists. The interviews span fifty two years of Olympic competition, feature a total of twelve medals, seven gold, and include some of the biggest names in Olympic Sailing.
The two part podcast kicks off with London 2012 Laser gold medallist Tom Slingsby, and his emotional account of how the surprise of failure in Beijing 2008 drove him to the top of the podium four years later in London. Slingsby's is a fascinating account, starting with his memories of how, while watching Sydney 2000, he resolved to one day stand atop the Olympic podium.
"I'm not the most athletically gifted person, when I started training and sailing I was not a good junior sailor, before the Sydney Olympics, before I dedicated myself to it I finished 61st at the Radial Nationals in 1999, I was mediocre, but I said 'I love this sport, I wanna do it and I'm gonna train and put in the work' and I just felt like a regular kid, I just loved it and dedicated myself to it."
British 470 Women's Olympic Champion Hannah Mills tells how disruptive a postponed Olympics has been, having decided to return to defend her crown after her win in Rio 2016.
Mills goes on to reveal to Robertson how the relative disappointment of a silver medal at her home Games in London 2012 really fuelled the determination for herself and crew Saskia Clarke, as they resolved to go the distance one last time together, in a bid to go one better and win in Rio. Mills discusses the Rio regatta, and what finally winning Olympic gold with her best friend meant to the pair as they began to realise their achievement.
From the amateur Olympic era of the 1960s and 70s Robertson then interviews British Olympic sailing legend Rodney Pattisson, a double Olympic gold medallist from Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972 and a silver medallist from Montreal 1976. Pattisson sailed the Flying Dutchman Class, was a submarine officer in the Royal Navy, and is widely known as being one of the forefathers of the 'no stone unturned' approach to modern Olympic sailing. His tales of fine tuning and optimisation while simultaneously duping his opposition are not just amusing, but also show a ruthless and dogged approach to competition, here explaining a dominant display at the Munich Games of 1972...
"People didn't know I'd built another boat, they still thought it was the old one and I kept that a secret right up until after the Games. It had the same name on the side of the boat, it had the same colours. One of the things I did was that the old, slower boat had had a prang, and so there was a repair inside the boat that you could see on the varnish work, so I copied that repair and anybody that had a suspicion at all looked underneath the stern deck, knew about the collision and thought it had to be the same boat."