When Great Britain’s Eilidh McIntyre was growing up, her father’s Olympic sailing gold medal from the 1988 Seoul Games sparkled on display in a little golden cabinet just outside her bedroom.
Whether she left for school, dinner or simply a glass of water, there was no missing the shiny prize glistening with family pride.
As a young, promising sailor herself, McIntyre dreamed of adding to the cabinet and continuing the family legacy since she was 11.
“She always said it gave her motivation,” said her father, Michael, of the cabinet to PA media. “Also, the fact it was in the family made it seem normal and achievable.”
And 33 years since her father won in the star sailing category, McIntyre obtained a gold of her own alongside partner Hannah Mills in the women’s 470 class on Wednesday.
No pressure on the next McIntyre generation that comes along ... nope.
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 4, 2021
Of course, family and friends from McIntyre’s local Hayling Island, U.K., yacht club gathered to soak in the historic triumph at her first Olympics.
— Andrew Moon (@mrandrewmoon) August 4, 2021
McIntyre and Mills entered the final day of sailing at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour with a 14-point lead, needing a seventh-place finish at worst to claim gold. The 2019 world champion duo placed fifth on the day to seize the top of the podium, but not without a scare as France launched a protest against Great Britain’s victory, which a jury quickly dismissed.
With the gold medal, Mills became the most decorated women’s Olympic sailor of all time after previously claiming silver at the London 2012 Games and winning gold in Rio alongside partner Saskia Clark. The Cardiff, U.K., native also became the first Welsh athlete to medal at three consecutive Summer Games.
It’s celebrations down at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club for Hannah Mills - the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. 🥇 pic.twitter.com/36g8YXJM8Y
— Heart Wales News (@heartwalesnews) August 4, 2021
Poland’s Jolanta Ogar and Agnieszka Skrzypulec won silver, while French sailors Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz took bronze.
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