by Dana Paxton
Two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee of Coronado, California has been appointed High Performance Director of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program.
His responsibilities will include managing all on-the-water elements of the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, including the coaching program, technical development and youth development with a goal of enabling U.S. sailors to reach the highest level of competition for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrenniums. He will report to Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing.
'Charlie is a proven winner in Olympic sailing as both a sailor and a coach,' said Adams. 'He brings a passion for Olympic class sailing and a high level of expertise in the boats we sail. Charlie is absolutely the right person to lead all performance aspects of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.'
A medalist in the World Youth Championships (Laser Class), McKee brought home two Olympic Games medals (bronze 470, 1988 and bronze 49er, 2000), and was the coach of the U.S. Olympic windsurfing team for the 1992 Olympic Games in which USA brought home a silver medal.
'I am honored to be a part of this effort,' said McKee. 'We plan to build on the good work that has been done previously, and work hard to give athletes the support they need to succeed in the increasingly competitive environment that is Olympic Sailing today. This includes a focus on technical expertise, high-level coaching and sufficient funding. There are many different paths to athletic success, and we intend to work with both the elite-level and aspiring athletes to help them to achieve their goals in the best way we can.'
A graduate of the University of Washington (BA Economics, 1986), McKee previously worked for 12 years as a commercial real estate appraiser before returning to the water full time. He has been involved in two America’s Cup campaigns, and has been racing everything from AC boats to foiling Moths. He lives in Coronado, Calif. with his wife Becky and three sons.
US Sailing website