domenica 6 novembre 2016

2016 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Edition - Cecilia Carranza Saroli

Making the change from a one-person dinghy to two-person multihull was always going to be a challenge but Saroli would face more emotions than most. Support, heartache, team work, and in the end, triumph. She would taste it all.

Partner Santiago Lange's story has been widely spread. Cancer in 2015, a return to health and then Olympic gold. But while Lange's is undoubtedly an inspiring story, it is important to remember that the Nacra 17 is sailed by two people with the same dream. When something happens to put that dream on hold, it happens to them both.

As Lange was undergoing treatment and subsequently getting back to fitness, Saroli had to put her Olympic dream on hold. Instead of sharpening her boat skills with her partner, she had to do the most important job of all. Support. Not in the boat. But out of it in everyday life.

Some things are more important in life than even sailing. And health is one of those. Saroli waited and supported patiently in the ultimate test of a partnership. She could have easily given up on her Olympic dream or moved on to another partner. But she did neither.

When it came to Lange's return the pair worked their way through the rigours of the physical class, testing, training and working on their rhythm before moving on to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

It was in South America where the dream began and finished. Argentina to Brazil. Taking the strength and determination their time out of the boat had given them, they began down a dream path to Olympic gold.

Experience was the buzz word for the two Argentinean sailors. Marrying her own Olympic experience with Lange's in a class making its Olympic debut, they sailed to the top of the leaderboard heading in to the Medal Race. They then took the experience of the previous year, determination and strength, to clinch gold from the face of defeat when they had two penalty turns against them.

Saroli and Lange had done it. They had won gold in one of the stories of the Games.

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