Please select your home edition
Edition
Doyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 TOP

Two time Olympic champion Martine Grael awarded the Magnus Olsson Prize

by Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation 31 Dec 2021 06:57 PST
Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, day 2 on board Team AkzoNobel. Martine Grael and Chris Nicholson on deck in the white out. Visibility is with boats close by but out sight the crew try to keep the focus and make gains. 21 May, 2018. © Konrad Frost / Volvo AB

The Mange Olsson Foundation has announced Martine Grael is the 2021 winner of its prestigious Magnus Olsson Prize.

Awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing, previous recipients include Torben Grael, Sir Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey, Santiago Lange, Grant Dalton, Carolijn Brouwer and Peter Burling.

Martine Grael, from Brazil, is one of the best skiff-sailors in the world and won the gold medal in 49erFX in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (2016) and in Tokyo (2020).

"My clearest memory with Magnus comes from the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008-2009 when he was the skipper of Ericsson 3 and my father (Torben Grael) was skipper on Ericsson 4," Grael said. "During the hospitality sailing at one of the stopovers, Magnus took some clients out and I managed to grab a ride on the boat. He was such a personable and upbeat guy who made a genuine connection with his crewmates and the sponsors on board for the day. Of course, I've heard so many stories about his as well, and it seems he made everyone feel special."

With a father who has competed and won at the top levels of the sport, it was natural for Martine to try her hand at sailing. After a few youth events in the 420 class, she graduated to Olympic class sailing in the 470 class, ahead of the London Olympic Games, but couldn't qualify for the regatta.

"After the disappointment of not qualifying for London, I decided to change classes to the 49er where I have stayed until today," Grael said. "I have competed on the international circuit in the build-up to the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games. These were great years - performing at all the test events and winning several podiums at the world championships.

"After the gold medal in Rio me, and my 49er teammate Kahena Kunze, decieed that we needed a distraction. And since the 14-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, with the all-women Team SCA that made a big impression on me, I had been looking for an opportunity to move into offshore racing."

In the very next edition of the event in 2017-2018, Martine got a chance as a crew member on Team AkzoNobel - and she became the first Brazilian woman to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

"That was a perfect way to re-charge, by facing a new challenge in one of the iconic events of our sport. I learned so much - not just about sailing but also about myself. The Ocean Race pushes you to find new limits. And after that I turned straight back into campaigning for what would become my second Olympic gold medal in Tokyo."

At the age of 30, Martine Grael has the track record of being a true winner and has demonstrated the strength to deliver a top performance when it matters most across several disciplines of the sport of sailing. With a winning mindset and a caring approach, she is an inspiration to people of all ages in Brazil and across the world. Just like Mange, her ongoing dedication and love for the sport of sailing is helping to grow the sport and make a positive difference.

Related Articles

The Ocean Race to be climate positive sport event
Aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% for the 2022-23 Race The Ocean Race aims to slash its emissions by up to 75%. All participants in the next edition of the round-the-world sailing race are working together to make the event climate positive. Posted on 9 Aug
How deep is your love?
Vital to making sailing a life-long pastime Some will know this as a Bee Gees or Take That song, and those of a younger generation will know it as a Calvin Harris track; either way, it is vital to making sailing a life-long pastime. Posted on 11 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 concludes
Green Eyes clinches line honours in the NHC class The 107-foot superyacht Green Eyes and the professional sailing team on board the VO65 Racing for the Planet walked away with line honours after two days and closely fought racing in the bay of Cascais. Posted on 11 Jul
The Ocean Race announces a Positive Change Partner
The partnership announced today will see DSC aligned with The Ocean Race Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) and The Ocean Race will team up to promote The Dole Promise and support the DSC's sustainability journey towards zero fossil-based packaging by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Posted on 7 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 preview
Exciting flotilla to line up for the highly anticipated event The regatta will see the third edition of the sustainable event get under way to cannon fire from onboard the Navio Patrulha Oceânico Sines of the Portuguese Navy at midday on Saturday July 9th. Posted on 6 Jul
Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights campaign
The Ocean Race is launching One Blue Voice, new initiative to drive public support for ocean rights The ambitious campaign aims to give the ocean a voice and put in place a global framework for protecting the marine environment, which plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the planet. Posted on 6 Jul
UN Ocean Conference
The Ocean Race calls for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights The Ocean Race and its global collaborators - including the Government of Cabo Verde - took a major step forward in their efforts to give the ocean a voice and make it an international legal entity. Posted on 1 Jul
Pelle Petterson receives Magnus Olsson Prize
Now the circle is complete, with the first Swede recognised The Swedish sailing icon and legend, Pelle Petterson, has been announced as winner of the prestigious Magnus "Mange" Olsson Prize 2022, which is awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing. Posted on 10 Jun
Leading voices call for ocean rights
To protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean The Ocean Race Summit Stockholm - Racing to protect the Southern Ocean, brought together sailors, scientists, policymakers and adventurers yesterday (Wednesday 1st June), to discuss the urgent need to protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Posted on 3 Jun
Ocean Race aims for equal number of men and women
The ambitious 2030 target is part of a new collaboration called Horizon The ambitious target is part of Horizon, a new collaboration with The Magenta Project, World Sailing Trust and PA Consulting, dedicated to increasing the number of women in professional sailing. Posted on 26 May
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOMZhik 2022 Choice of Champions FOOTERC-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOM