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Local athletes learn from Chef de Mission Malcolm Page

15 July 2015

PACIFIC GAMES: A dozen Papua New Guinean sailors have had the chance to learn from dual Olympic gold medallist and Australian Pacific Games Chef de Mission Malcolm Page.

Organised by the Port Moresby Yacht Club, the athletes and coaches were part of last week’s sailing Pacific Games competition.

Page spoke to the group about the highs and lows of competing in Olympic sailing and his journey from starting sailing in Sydney, NSW to winning gold at the Beijing and London Games.

Page narrowly missed competing at Sydney 2000 and then joined with Nathan Wilmot to finish twelfth at Athens 2004. The pair went onto capture the ultimate success in 2008, claiming gold in the men’s 470 class.

He made his third consecutive Games appearance in 2012 with partner Mathew Belcher. The duo pulled off five race victories heading into the medal race where they finished second to ensure they knocked off the Brits on their own waters and take home the gold.

Now retired from Olympic sailing and working for the international federation, Page spoke about the key areas of competition.

“There are three elements in sailing and really any sport; speed, environment and racing ability,” he said.

“Once you’ve built those three three things the last element is psychology.

“It’s about those losses and hard times. I think you need to get knocked down to get back up. Resilience comes from that.”

Page also spoke about how to form strong bonds between teammates.

“A new team needs to talk more, everything they’re doing on the boat, going through every action.”

Joking about superstitions Page said every sailor has things they don’t change during a regatta.

“I wouldn’t have a haircut mid regatta because I thought it was bad luck. Most athletes have little superstitions like that.”

After taking photos with Page’s two medals and asking questions about what it’s like to claim gold, the group were all keen to get out on the water and put into practice the tips.

Annie Kearney

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