Like this Olympic regatta, the medal race didn’t go as planned for Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan. The American 470 team was out of the medals, but in a position to move up a spot or two with a good race. They got caught on the wrong side of the first run (along with the British team that had a 50-50 shot at gold) and could never close the gap, finishing 10th in the race and ninth overall.
International Olympic Committee rules prohibit members of the written press from publishing audio or video from the mixed zone, which is something for which Clark is probably thankful. After a long Olympic career and a disappointing result for the entire U.S. Sailing Team, Clark was very emotional as she spoke in defense of her teammates.
The team is taking some heat back home about the lack of medals. You’ve been with this team for quite a few years (more on than off since 1998). Is there a trend we should worry about or is this merely a bump along the road?
I’m so glad that I have an opportunity to speak right now on the team’s behalf. This team was so motivating. It’s a shame, because everybody put so much heart into this Olympics. And the fact that the scoreboard does not show it is really hard because I watched everyone on the team work so hard to mark changes from 2008, everybody worked together, everybody motivated each other, it’s going to give us such a positive future. I know that for sure. It’s hard to see my teammates not get the respect they deserve from people who haven’t been watching it from the beginning. This team sailed with heart, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
How has the team changed since you first made until now?
I don’t fully know how to even quantify it. Everything is better from the support to everybody’s attitudes on the water and off the water. The team works together, it’s not a group of individual campaigns any longer, it’s a team campaign. And now with Sperry Top-Sider behind the U.S. Sailing Team it’s another opportunity to move forward, and it’s a totally different story than when I started this at age 15. I love Olympic campaigning, and if I didn’t start so young, maybe I’d still be going for another campaign because it’s just so much fun to be a part of this and be on the U.S. Sailing Team.
So this will be your last campaign?
This is my last campaign.