Sam Newman Audio Documentary

(Skype ring tone) (Carol) Hello! (Sam) Hello Carol, how’s it going? (Carol) It’s going well! I thought we went in as medal favorites partly because we had finished third at the class world championship a month before the games. And so that was a really good indicator to me that we could medal if we had a good games. I was also realistic about the fact that there were a lot of other competitors there who were also medal favorites and that most of them had Olympic experience which I didn’t have. And once I got home I realized how critical that was because of all these other factors that you don’t know how you’re going to react to. Everybody’s a little bit different. I was really, really excited about the fact that we were Team USA. All the other boats had different country names on them and how cool was that? We ended up tenth overall, we won two races, and so what I tell people sometimes if they’re from outside of sailing is in some sports that would mean that we’d have two gold medals, but the way sailing works is you sail sixteen races and at the end whoever is the most consistent gets a medal. Or three people get medals. We were very good in light air, which was supposed to be what we had in Athens, and we had two of the windiest days I’ve ever sailed in during that games. And that’s a large part of what took us out of the medals. That was definitely a disappointment. The positive memories are walking into the opening ceremonies which was incredible. And hearing the “USA”chant, checking in for the first time before the first race and looking up and calling “USA!” and realizing that’s all I have to say and the third was those two races we won. That was really incredible. Especially the first one we were still in the medal hunt at that point So we kinda had this hope that “OK yeah we had a pretty good day yesterday and we’re having a really good day right now” By the time we won the second race we were mathematically out of the medals and we already felt like failures. So it was harder to enjoy all the spinnaker flags behind us. The thing that surprised me I thought I was prepared for, which was all the pressure and all the hoopla and how different it is from any other regatta you go to. And there’s a couple schools of thought about preparing for your first games and one of them is treat it like any other regatta and that doesn’t work because there are just so many other hoops you have to jump through as far as press and you sort of feel like you’re representing your country there’s letters on the mainsail instead of a sail number all our sail said was USA on it instead of being USA plus a sail number and that was… it was a big deal. And when you’re doing well as we were early on, the press all want to talk to you and then once you’re out of the medal contention nobody wants to talk to you and that’s a big shift as well that if you don’t finish in the top 3 you feel like a failure. And by the end of the regatta, when we were disappointed with not medaling and everybody had stopped talking to us we felt like we let everybody down and it wasn’t until l got home that I realized Wow that was really cool what we did and we didn’t let anybody down we didn’t have as good a regatta as we’d hoped and that’s just how it is. (Sam) Alright awesome, well thanks a lot Carol I really appreciate it. (Carol) Yeah, thank you! See you later. (Sam) Yep, have a good one! Bye. (Skype hangup tone)

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