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Ben AinslieThe world's most successful sailor, 4 times Olympic Gold Medallist
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Sir Ben Ainslie is the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.
At his first ever Olympic Games, Ben won an Olympic silver medal, and in the next four Olympic Games he went on to win consecutive gold medals, cementing his position as not only as Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor of all time but also the most successful Olympic sailor in history.
With a sailing career which began at the age of eight, Ben was Laser Radial World Champion at the age of sixteen, and went on to win his Olympic silver in the Laser Class at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games at just nineteen years old. Four years later, he achieved Olympic gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. After Sydney, Ben switched from the Laser to the Finn Class.
The move to the Finn meant Ben had to increase his bodyweight by fifteen kilos to achieve the optimum weight for the class. His gruelling training programme paid off when he struck gold once again at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Ben secured qualification to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by winning an unprecedented fifth world title at the 2007 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne, Australia. Despite falling ill days before his Olympic defence, Ben showed his champion spirit and won his third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
In the London 2012 Olympics, Ben secured his fourth consecutive Gold. He was nominated as Team GB’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony.
Ben has received many awards and accolades, most recently in January 2013, he was honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, a day he describes as ‘the proudest moment of my career’. Ben is also the only sailor ever to be crowned ISAF World Sailor of the Year four times (1999, 2002, 2008 & 2012) and British Yachtsman of the Year five times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008).
In January 2012, he launched Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) forming a new team. A few days after the London Olympics, Ben and his new team headed to San Francisco to compete in the America’s Cup World Series. Joining America’s Cup defenders ORACLE TEAM USA to defend the 34th America’s Cup, in September 2013, the team won the America’s Cup sailing in one of the biggest comebacks in sporting history, fighting against the odds to win the 34th America’s Cup 9-8 against the challengers Emirates Team New Zealand.