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Dempsey sets sights on Rio

November 20, 2012 12:32 pm

Great Britain's Nick Dempsey has announced he will campaign for the 2016 Olympics in a bid to become the most successful windsurfer in the history of the Games.

The 32-year-old won silver on the home waters of Weymouth and Portland this summer, adding to the bronze he took in Athens eight years previously.

It had looked like London 2012 could be Dempsey's last ever Olympics after the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced pre-Games that windsurfing would be dropped in favour of kiteboarding.

However, a surprise about turn has seen windsurfing reinstated for Rio de Janeiro and Dempsey has announced his intention to compete.

"It's obviously been a massive few weeks for windsurfing after the RS:X class was reinstated for the Rio 2016 Olympics at the ISAF Annual Conference in Ireland," he said on his Volvo Sailing blog.

"Everyone just assumed I'd immediately jump at the chance to do a 2016 RS:X campaign but the truth is I've spent a good few days this week thinking about whether that would be the right thing for me.

"I had to question if I wanted to do it and whether if I did do it, would I be able to do everything required of me to win a gold medal in Rio.

"The reality is being an Olympic windsurfer is bloody hard work, bloody hard work, and it is a huge commitment. Also by the time the next Games come around I'll be 35, would age potentially be an issue?

"But after a lot of really good discussions this week, with people who's (sic) opinions I trust and respect, I made the decision to go for it.

"The British sailing team manager, Stephen Park, made a really good point that if I won gold in Rio, I'd be the most successful Olympic windsurfer ever. That definitely made the thought of doing a campaign more appealing."

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