Austin Sperry - 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
We asked Austin about his Olympic experience, roll on the team and personal experiences along the way. Here’s what Austin had to say…
First, to be successful in life, you need to possess a burning desire and have a certain passion. I can’t tell you what your passion might be, but for me, it was competing on the world’s biggest stage, the Olympic Games. After years of dedication and preparation, I made the 2008 US Olympic Sailing Team in the two-man Star Class keel boat. Sixteen nations competed on the Olympic stage that year in Beijing. My teammate and I were the only representatives from the USA in the Star Class.
Nearly four years after my Olympic debut, I still reflect positively on the experience. However, I still have heartache about losing my Gold medal. It’s funny, people always approach me and tell me what an accomplishment it is to make the team and compete in the Olympics.
I have a hard time stomaching this comment; for Olympic athletes, it’s not about simply “making it”, it’s about crushing your opponents and dominating every endeavor in our lives.
Looking back, I think my fondest memory of the entire experience would more than likely be spending time with my coaches who are my best friends. We travelled the world eight times over, partied in places most people only see in magazines and met incredible people which all have given me a life of incredible opportunities.
What’s next? I am married and have a son, Jack, who is my entire life. I have launched a startup company, Barge Capital, which provides off balance sheet financing for American flagged vessels under the Jones Act. Additionally, Barge Capital leases company owned Oil Tank Barges in the liquid transportation sector.