Pictured: Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.), Women’s RS:X, U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, shortly after winning Rio 2016 selection.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain. – RS:X athlete Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) 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 Women’s Board. This will be the first career Olympic Games for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalist.
Heading into the Trofeo Princesa Sofia (March 25 – April 2) in Palma, the second and final Rio 2016 selection event, Lepert trailed London 2012 Olympian Farrah Hall by two points in the Selection Series, setting up a tough battle for the Olympic berth. However, Lepert rose to the occasion and won a place on Team USA while submitting a career-best performance at the highest level of international RS:X competition. After five days of racing, Lepert earned a spot in the medal race in Palma.
“I’m really happy,” said Lepert. “It’s been a long week, and I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but it feels good to be done [with selection], and have qualified.”
After being taught to windsurf by her father as a small child, Lepert took to racing quickly, winning her first national championship as the top youth female in the Formula board in 2009. In 2011, Lepert the was top youth female at the IFCA Slalom World Championship in Curacao, and also finished second at the Techno 293 Worlds on home waters in San Francisco. Lepert’s success in these prominent youth board classes set up her transition to the Olympic-equipment RS:X board in 2013. At the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus, Lepert missed the podium by a single point.
In 2015, Lepert decided to take a leave of absence from her studies at Stanford University, and train full-time in the RS:X. Her recent results have reflected her redoubled efforts, as she took silver at the 2015 RS:X U21 European Championship, and bronze at the Pan Am Games. Though interrupting school until after Rio 2016 was a sacrifice, Lepert has not looked back. “Taking time off from school really changed how I sail, because I’m no longer sleeping three hours a night and doing homework at the same time!”
Lepert’s hard work has shone through in Palma, and she reports that she feels faster than ever. “I’m especially proud of the improvement I made [within the past year], and I’ve improved my downwind [speed], which is really good. Training with the best people in the world totally opened my eyes to what Olympic sailing is like.”
While the Rio Games await, Lepert is determined not to let her focus waver. “Ive never experienced anything like this. I want to stay excited, and not nervous, while taking it all one step at a time.”
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) April 1, 2016
Pictured: Lepert won bronze at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
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.