Tom Slingsby 2012 AIS Athlete of the Year

Uploaded by ausport on 16.11.2012

Tom Slingsby 2012 AIS Athlete of the year Congratulations, how does it feel?
It’s a huge honour, just to be named in the same breath as a few of those athletes,
is a huge honour and to be joint winner with Alicia Coutts who won five medals at the Olympics,
I’m sort of lost for words. I’m very honoured and a great night for sailing.
Sailing is of course is part of the AIS, a program within the AIS, tell us about the
support you get from the Australian Institute of Sport:
Other than funding and things like that, we get a lot of support in our technical areas,
we get a lot of support in our equipment and we are able to develop our equipment to levels
that other teams can’t and specifically from the AIS, we get a lot of access to their
technical department and any ideas that we come up with, they are always there ready
to help us turn our ideas into reality and these little things really do make the difference
when it comes to inches here and there and Olympic gold medals on the line. The AIS is
so important to the Australian Sailing Team and without them we wouldn’t have achieved
the success that we did. 2012, two World Championships, a gold medal,
talk us through that, how has 2012 been for you?
Yes, it has been a real dream year. The last twelve months, I have gotten two World Championships,
a few World Cup events and the gold medal and that’s just huge and a perfect way to
cap it off. It was something I worked for so long, and worked so hard all of those hours
in the gym, on the bike, out in the water when it’s five degrees and freezing cold
and you sit there at the time and your wondering, is this all worth it, for something you might
not win, but it is definitely worth it and I would do it all over again, for sure.
Tom, I believe as a teenager you changed from being a serious tennis player into sailing,
how did that come about? I grew up playing tennis, my mum was into
tennis and I followed her in and I was pretty serious with my tennis, I trained alot and
at about fifteen years old I had played sort of six or seven days a week for about ten
years and I got a bit burnt out and I needed a change and my dad was into sailing and my
older sisters were into sailing and I just naturally followed them there. I had been
doing it on and off for about six or seven years and then I had all of this time on my
hands after I quit tennis six days a week so I just used that time to sail and I started
sailing everyday and slowly but surely the results improved and I’ve been going for
a gold medal ever since then. Australia’s sailing success has obviously
brought some more young kids wanting to get into the sport. Do you have any tips for young
sailors? Just get out there, I mean it’s a bit of
a daunting sport, going out in the waters, often when it’s windy but it really is a
safe sport and you won’t know until you try really. I remember for me the hardest
part was biting the bullet and getting out there the first day. I remember my first day
my dad sent me out and apparently I was crying back and forth in the boat, I hated it but
soon the tears turned to big smiles and within a couple of days I was loving it and loved
every second of it and so it’s a bit daunting at first but it really does pay off once you
get into it. Tom Slingsby, again congratulations, AIS Athlete
of the Year. Thanks very much. Thank you.