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Olympic Medalist Caleb Paine steps away from Tokyo 2020 Campaign

by Brittney Manning 23 Jun 2020 05:13 PDT
Caleb Paine is guaranteed a Gold Medal at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

After a long, successful career competing for the US Sailing Team in the Finn class, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) has decided to end his campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and turn his focus to other areas of the sport.

"Since the Olympics were postponed, I've been talking to my family and mentors, and have decided to step away from my campaign for Tokyo 2020," said Paine. "This was a very difficult decision. I am so grateful to my coach, Luther Carpenter, my teammates, the whole US Sailing Team staff, my campaign donors, and everyone who supported me and the national team for over a decade in the Finn class. Winning a Medal in Rio was a huge honor and absolutely a full team effort. I just feel really fulfilled in my Olympic career and am ready to move on to other challenges in sailing."

During his time on the US Sailing Team, Paine accumulated several podium finishes in the Finn fleet. Most notably, he won the Bronze Medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a steady performance under pressure at his first Olympic Regatta. That accomplishment also earned him the title of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, which is the highest honor awarded to American sailors each year. Paine is also a five-time World Cup Medalist and recently took the Gold at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami.

As he shifts his focus away from the Finn, Paine looks forward to a role with New York Yacht Club American Magic, a Challenger for the 36th America's Cup. "My first project will be to join American Magic in Auckland," he said. "The plan is to work hard, learn from an amazing group of sailors, and try to contribute any way I can to bringing the America's Cup home."

While the US Sailing Team will miss Paine on the water, all of the athletes, coaches, and staff wish him well in this next chapter. Olympic Head Coach, Luther Carpenter (Cypress, Texas), who has coached Paine for the last six years will remember their time together fondly.

"Coaching Caleb from 2014 to 2020 has been a pleasure and an honor," he said. "When we joined forces in the years leading up to Rio, we had an incredible program of focus and hard work. Rio's Olympic Regatta itself was the perfect example of consistent performance over the week, learning and adjusting from setbacks, and capitalizing on huge races throughout the event. We all will remember that medal race for decades! It was such a thrill to see Caleb bring the Bronze home."

As Paine turns this corner in his career, he'll have the full support of US Sailing. "While I've enjoyed the Olympic experience with Caleb, I do realize that life expands over many years, beyond the Olympic World," Carpenter continued. "I am happy to see him align with his next goals and dream, and I wish him the best of luck in his new role with American Magic."

In addition to shifting his focus to the America's Cup, Paine also looks forward to supporting future generations of Olympic sailors. "As soon as the America's Cup is done, I'm more than happy to help the Team out in any way I possibly can," said Paine. "Getting to the Olympic starting line takes an army of people. Now, it's my time to pay it forward and help others make their dreams a reality too."

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