Elise Rechichi is a dual Olympian and Olympic gold medallist. In 2004, the West Australian partnered with Tessa Parkinson in the women’s 470 class. Two years later at the Olympic test event in China, Rechichi contracted a virulent virus from contact with the polluted waters and was laid low for almost a year, losing 20 percent of her body weight in the process.
Hampered by equipment failure, they finished eighteenth in the 470s at the 2007 World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, which was the selection regatta for Beijing 2008. The pair just scraped into the Olympics and improved their performance to a bronze medal at 2008 World Championships.
At the Beijing 2008 Games, they won the gold medal from the Dutch and Brazilian crews, emulating the feat of Jennifer Armstrong and Belinda Stowell on Sydney Harbour in 2000. On the same day in Beijing, Malcolm Page and Nathan Wilmot won the gold medal in the men’s 470 class. Victor Kovalenko coached all three Olympic champions 470 crews.
Having retired from sailing in 2009, Rechichi returned to Olympic competition at the London Games. She partnered with Stowell and the experienced duo set their sights on another 470 podium finish. It was not to be and the pair finished in seventh position.