Many often wonder how a country selects sailors to train for Olympic program.
Indeed, it is a dedicated and long term focus as talent needs to grow in terms of skill as well as experience. Hence, it would mean sustaining and monitoring such talent as they hone their skills through participating in different regatta events. Sponsoring and nurturing such talent remains a large part of such programs.
As per the US Sailing team development program, the way they recruit sailors for developing talent for the Olympics is not disclosed. However, as per Charlie McKee, who is part of the program as a veteran sailor and Olympic winner, the program focuses on recruiting young sailors who can be trained and developed for Olympic sailing programs. As he admits, the team that went to Rio Olympics did not have much experience, but the kind of achievements they did was an assurance that the program has taken the right direction.
The focus of the program is to help the athletes who enroll in the program so that they stay on and train as well as being part of the country team to represent the same as the Olympics. In the past colleges and high school sailing competitions were looked at as possible pools to provide talent who can be nurtured in the Olympic program. Today the landscape of Olympic sailing means a dedicated life to sailing which cannot simply start off after college. It is necessary to develop technical skills as well as a background in competitive sailing from an earlier age. As competition gets younger, it becomes necessary that sailors are honed for the Olympic program from an earlier age. With a dedicated focus this program ensures that one does not wait for experienced and older sailors to walk through the doors who will struggle with physical capabilities to match that of the younger generation.