Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

2012 Olympic Games - Stevie Morrison one year on

by Lindsey Bell on 22 Jul 2013
Sailing in front of the crowns on the Nothe racecourse Richard Langdon/British Sailing Team
This week, as we approach the anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July, we’ll hear from members of the 2012 British Sailing Team who reflect on their own Games experiences, how they themselves were inspired by 2012, and on life and sailing since the London Olympic flame went out and the focus switched to Rio 2016.

Exmouth’s Stevie Morrison competed at his second Olympics in 2012, sailing with Ben Rhodes in the 49er event where they finished fifth after a tough battle against injury and selection. The pair are campaigning again in the 49er for Rio:

London 2012 was a very good Olympics not to be competing in!

I wouldn’t change the fact we were involved for all the world. But the vibe around the whole thing during the Olympic and Paralympics was very exciting and as athletes, although you do try to draw on some of that, you can’t let it get into your thoughts too much so you have to lock yourself away in the team bubble a bit.

It seems we missed out on a good party!

Although you wouldn’t have thought it was going to be like that with the typical British pessimism and people anticipating it was going to be a disaster in the build up. It was always going to be brilliant and I’m so pleased it surpassed expectations.

The build up to the Games was really intense for me and Ben. We had to keep fighting and fighting throughout the winter, Ben had to contend with a lot of injuries. We would miss a month as he recovered and then it would take any month to get back up to speed, and we felt like we were playing catch up the whole time.

Because we were then selected late we only had three months to get Games-ready. We learned a lot from our experience in China four years before but we couldn’t implement all of what we learned because we didn’t have the time.


It was in ways a frustrating Games for us, we didn’t have the best of starts but we did a good job of fighting back. On the bigger, ‘normal’ courses we were one of the best performing 49ers all week but on the Nothe, for whatever reasons, the dice rolled once in every race and we couldn’t quite pick it. It was like Super Mario where you have to avoid the banana skins, we seemed to land on each one. We lost an awful lot of points on the Nothe, there were fewer controllables and a lot of chance.

Regardless of all of that, if we hadn’t had a capsize early in the regatta, when we dropped from something like fifth to 17th in that race, we would have won bronze.

Ultimately we did have an element of pride about the performance because there was a lot of stuff we know we did very well. We certainly didn’t feel as bad as we did after China, when we were just completely shellshocked.

Yet equally you set yourself a goal, and an Olympic medal has been our realistic goal for six years, and it didn’t happen so it’s gutting. I didn’t go to any parties or parades, and I won’t wear the tracksuit. In many ways you try to forget you’ve done it.

It’s hard because a lot of your very good friends and family are so proud of you, but we’ve had a good career so far so you set yourself high standards. I can’t celebrate just going to an Olympics, Maybe someday when I’m older I can but not now.

Straight away after the Games we were very keen to do it again for Rio. We felt that not really through too much fault of our own, but more because of Ben having to deal with his injuries and enforced time out of the boat, we hadn’t fulfilled our potential. Ben had a major operation on his toe to stop him breaking down and I went and did some Moth sailing and just enjoyed sailing again for a while. I also put a decent amount of time in at the gym because I’m getting a bit older and am aware to be as fit as I need to be I need to put more effort in and work harder.

It was Palma in March when we got back into the 49er again and the goals for this year were largely to do more racing and regattas to test if Ben is going to be fit enough to do another campaign. The Worlds in September are our focus now.

London 2012 injected a general excitement for sport in general and you really sense that buzz when you go into schools and meet kids. They perk up and are excited to know all about the Olympics and it’s great to know it’s had a big impact on them, that’s important. One school I went to in Exeter straight after the Olympics was already doing a project on Brazil to tie into the next Games.

I will never forget watching that Saturday night in the Olympic Stadium when Jess Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all won gold. It did feel like something a bit out of the ordinary was going on and because we are a different sport to everyone else, and we weren’t in the main village, you didn’t feel overloaded by watching it.

At the Closing Ceremony I had a really surreal moment when I was asked to hold the end of Mo Farah’s flag while he went around and got everyone to sign it. I kept looking at him thinking ‘I’ve seen you do amazing things on TV and now I’m standing here holding your flag?!’ Yep, we definitely missed out on a great party!

InSunSport - InternationalT Clewring J-classInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr