Sailing since the age of eight, Tom Slingsby was inspired after watching the sailing during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Slingsby watched each day of competition from Bradley’s Head and decided to do all it took to become an Olympian. The NSW Central Coast sailor made his first Olympic appearance in the laser class at the 2008 Beijing Games, finishing 22nd. In 2010 Slingsby became the first Australian to win the ISAF World Sailor of the Year award. Slingsby won four World Cup events, two World Championships, the Laser Standard World Titles, the Etchells Titles and was World No. 1 in the laser class - all in 2010.
Having been disappointed in his performance at the Beijing Games, Slingsby returned to Olympic competition in 2012 determined to take home gold in the laser class. He performed consistently throughout the regatta as he won four of the opening ten races and placed second in three others. His results ensured that his nearest competitor would need to beat him by six places in the ten boat medal race to relinquish the gold medal. Slingsby ensured this was not the case, living up to his own high expectations on the seas of Weymouth to earn the right to stand on top of the medal dais at the London Games.