Nick Dempsey: Back in the saddle

Nick Dempsey: Back in the saddle

Tuesday November 20 2012 Author: Nick Dempsey Location: none selected

It’s obviously been a massive few weeks for windsurfing after the RS:X class was reinstated for the Rio 2016 Olympics at the ISAF Annual Conference in Ireland.

Everyone just assumed I’d immediately jump at the chance to do a 2016 RS:X campaign but the truth is I’ve spent a good few days this week thinking about whether that would be the right thing for me. I had to question if I wanted to do it and whether if I did do it, would I be able to do everything required of me to win a gold medal in Rio.

The reality is being an Olympic windsurfer is bloody hard work, bloody hard work, and it is a huge commitment. Also by the time the next Games come around I’ll be 35, would age potentially be an issue?

But after a lot of really good discussions this week, with people who’s opinions I trust and respect, I made the decision to go for it. The British sailing team manager, Stephen Park, made a really good point that if I won gold in Rio, I’d be the most successful Olympic windsurfer ever. That definitely made the thought of doing a campaign more appealing.

When it comes to age, I just look at athletes across all sports to know that there is nothing wrong with the body at 35. Ben Ainslie was 35 when he won his fourth Olympic sailing gold medal this summer. The Greek windsurfer Nikos Kaklamanakis was 36 when he won silver at Athens 2004 and look at the Ethiopian long distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie.

What I do know is at 35, and having done four previous Olympics, you’ve got a bloody wise head on your shoulders and you are very experienced. You know how to do it.

I also spent a lot of time training in Brazil before the London Games. I love Brazil, I know the waters and the fact it is a light wind venue means certain parts of your training can be a lot more controllable than they were for Weymouth. In Weymouth you had to be prepared for anything and everything, Rio will be more like Beijing in a lot of ways...

 

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