Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympics 1988

Amidst all the Olympic hoopla I came across an interesting story from the 1988 Korean games in which a  Finn sailor, Lawrence Lemieux from Canada, was doing well and had a good chance at a silver medal.

He was winning the fifth race in very challenging conditions - winds gusting to 35 knots. He dropped back to second because the waves were so high he simply didn't see a mark.  But then, he noticed 2 Singaporean 470 sailors nearby who were in trouble.  Their boat had capsized and they had lost their rudder and were unable to right it.  One of them had been thrown away from the boat and the other clung to it, with his hand cut badly.

Lemieux sailed over to them and managed to get the one out of the water onto his Finn and then sailed to the overturned boat, keeping both safe until help arrived.  He returned to his race and finished 22d.

He did not get a sailing medal but was award the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship. 

In a recent interview in the FT he noted that sailing "is not the most popular sport in terms of media coverage. 'You spend your life working really hard internationally and you get very few accolades. So that’s the ironic thing; 25 years after this rescue, we’re still talking about it.' ”

His surname seems appropriate.


  1. Why is "Lemieux" appropriate?

  2. Thanks for asking Anonymous. I assume you don't speak French and are asking what it means. It simply means "the best".


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