If Robert Scheidt will make the podium in the Laser Class at Rio, he will become the only sailor to win six Olympic Medals in the history of the sport. A good reason to keep our eyes focused on his next performance…
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- Today we had a chat with Robert Scheidt. We know each other since many years but I never asked him anything about the sport, his passion and his motivation. I was really impressd as he is calm, fully focused, powerful and peaceful at the same time. I asked him were he was taking the energy, the motivation… and if we will see him sailing cats after this Games… like Paul Evstrom.
Why, at age 43, you are racing lasers? “I love the sport, I love racing, the adrenaline of competing and fighting for the result makes me feel alive, yes I might continue sailing after the Games and the cat is an option as it is not so physical, but my preference goes to tactical slow boats where the fighting is inch by inch, meter by meter… with lots of tacks and action. I might try the cat, but right now I am just focusing on the Games… and as my wife (Laser Radial champion Gintare Volungeviciute, Editor’s note) doesn’t want to be my bowman…”.
We talked on how sailing evolved in the last twenty years. “It has become much more professional, the starts are much more aggressive and nowdays everybody sails downwind very well like only a few did at Savannah and Sydney, the physical training is much more specific and tailored to each discipline, all in all we are more professional. I got better at seeing the big picture, the entire regatta as the goal, not the sigle race…”.
And what about pro sailing? “Well I had a chance with Alinghi. I had a chance with Prada, but the magic of the Olympics kept on calling me back, once you have experienced tha magic of the Olympics you keep on and on, you want to come back, my heart wanted sailing pure, the ultimate challenge, the Olympics”.
And what about Rio? “My toughest opponent here is Nick Thompson. He won the last two Laser Worlds but the Bay of Rio is the Bay of Rio, a lot can happen. Key will be the first two days, if i manage four good races all will be easier otherwise I’ll have to take risks and in Rio risking at times gets out of hand…”
His eyes were centered, his voice calm, he was perfect and powerful, he really is a velejador in the best brazillian tradition, the tradition of Joerg Bruder, the tradition of Torben and Lars Grael. Sailing is a big part of the history of Brazil, sailing was the way to get to Europe in the old days. Thanks Robert, you really are a great sailor and probably the most determined athlete I came about in my life. Thanks for sharing a few ideas and emotions with us, we will keep a special eye at your olympics.
Robert Scheidt Olympic Medals
Atlanta/Savannah 1996 Gold Laser
Sydney 2000 Silver Laser
Athens 2004 Gold Laser
Beijing/Qingdao 2008 Silver Star
London/Weymouth 2012 Bronze Star