Finishing fourth at an Olympic Games is one of the hardest things for any athlete to go through and, unfortunately, it’s what happened to Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox at the recent Tokyo Olympics. What made it even more emotional was the fact the medal race was probably the last time the pair will sail a 470 competitively together with the class going to a mixed format for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Paul and Dan are presently in MIQ in Christchurch but Broad Reach Radio caught up with them just before they left Enoshima, the sailing venue for the Games. They reflected on that Olympic campaign as well as the nine years they had been sailing together. But their association goes back way further than that, to the time they competed against each other as young Opti sailors and went to junior world championships as teammates.
Paul and Dan have some good stories to tell, like the time they scrambled to get out of Spain as Covid-19 took a hold on the world and how their Rio Olympics was hampered by illness but they also give a good insight into what it’s like being an Olympic sailor and the impact it has on loved ones. And, of course, they tell the stories of their worst wipeouts ever.