Class: Neil Pryde RS:X
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics: 2006-2008
Member of: Banana River Windsurfing Resort
Education: Naples High School (graduated 2005), Brevard Community College (completed two years)
Birthdate: April 26, 1988
Birthplace: Orange, Calif.
Occupation: Full-time sailor
Significant sailing achievements: Ranked No. 1 on the US Sailing Team – RS:X Women (2006-2008), Won the 2006 US SAILING Pre-Trials by winning sx of eight races
Biography: As a young teen, when Nancy Rios returned to the United States from a summer-long visit with her mother’s family in Mexico, a lot had changed at home. For one, all her family members had become avid windsurfers in her absence.
“They all had their own boards, and encouraged me to try it,” she remembers.
For an entire family to suddenly embrace a new sport may sound unusual-until you learn that outdoor adventure is a big part of life in the Rios family. For several years, Rios’s parents ran an adventure sports business in Huatulco, Mexico, south of Acapulco.
As Rios looks at her own Olympic path, she sees both challenges and rewards. Fundraising to keep competing against a world-class fleet remains a continual challenge. The RS:X class does not have the same kind of population that a class like the Laser or Laser Radial has, so Rios misses the camaraderie of training in a big U.S. field.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being an Olympian has been the opportunity to train hard as an athlete-and Rios credits US SAILING’s Performance Enhancement Team for bringing her athletic training to an elite level. Says Rios: “I have learned so much about being an athlete.”
2008 60th Neil Pryde RS:X World Championship/Takapuna, New Zealand
2007 5th Pan American Games/Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 21st – US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR/Miami