Pictured: Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.), Men’s RS:X, US Sailing Team Sperry, races in Palma de Mallorca. Photo: Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain. – RS:X athlete Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.) has earned selection to the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team based on the results of the US Sailing Olympic Athlete Selection Series in the Men’s Board. This will be the first career Olympic Games appearance for Pascual, who is taking time off from his studies at Florida Atlantic University to pursue his dream of representing the United States in Rio.
“I’m still processing it. I can’t believe it,” said Pascual. “It will take some days, probably weeks, to finally realize that I’ve qualified, and that I’ve done this. I’m really happy. All the work is paying off, and I can’t wait for the Olympics.”
The Trofeo Princesa Sofia (March 25 – April 2) in Palma served as the second and final Rio 2016 selection event for the Men’s RS:X. Going into the regatta, the US Sailing Team Sperry’s Pascual held a slim lead in the two-regatta selection series over American competitors Raul Lopez (Miami, Fla.) and fellow national team athlete Carson Crain (Houston, Texas.).
Lopez jumped out to an early lead in the regatta among the American contingent, and looked strong after the first pair of races. Nevertheless, Pascual steadily worked his way up to gain the best position of the three, and capped his performance with a strong 7th place gold fleet finish in the final (full-fleet) race of the event to clinch Olympic selection.
Pascual got his start in sailing early, through his family. “My dad was a windsurfer, and so one day, we tried it, and I loved it. Ever since that day, my whole life has been windsurfing. The Floridian noted that he revels in the highly active nature of board racing, and the all-encompassing challenge it presents. “[The RS:X] is totally different from any other Olympic [sailing] class. It’s very physical, and you’re standing up while going as fast as you can. I just love it.”
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) April 1, 2016
Pascual’s performance breakthrough came in 2015, when he won the RS:ONE European Championship, and made the gold fleet at the RS:X European Championship. He followed up in early 2016 by making gold fleet at the RS:X World Championship in Eilat, Israel.
Pascual said a team-centric approach has been key to his ascent. “I’ve been working a lot with [former US Sailing Team Sperry sailor] Raul Lopez, and it’s been great. We’ve been doing a lot. We have both been improving together at the same level, and slowly getting there. We’ve been training at Miami Yacht Club for the whole year. Hopefully we can improve as a team. In 2015 I came here to Spain, and started training with Olympic sailors in the RS:X, and I’ve improved a lot here too.”
Pascual said he’d love to see more Americans trying out board sailing, and that he aims to serve as a positive example.”I hope having a good result at the Olympics will make everyone more active in the sport, and follow the sport more.”
Pictured: Pascual (USA 11, left) and Lopez (USA 5, right) competing at Sailing World Cup Miami in January, the first Rio 2016 selection event.
Note: All athletes named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
About the US Sailing Team Sperry
The US Sailing Team Sperry is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance and the Gowrie Group sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (978) 697-2384.