Greek sailor hero Sofia Bekatorou is looking forward to encourage sailing in UAE children. The 2004 Olympic gold medallist spent a few days with Abu Dhabi school kids recently with the aim to interest them in sailing the very similar way she herself got hooked to the sport as a sprightly teenager.
The interesting part is that it was 1976 Olympic first female 10/10 gymnast champ Nadia Comaneci who nudged Bekatorou towards sailing.
“I was hugely inspired by her poster”, she remarked. “While I was heading to my gym, I kept on looking at my poster& started pondering, ‘Someday I would be just like her’. I feel at some phase, when you are a child, some people do impact you. It’s kind of like they alter your life.
Being top athletes, we posed our own stories to younger genre…here at Abu Dhabi”, she continued.”I do believe in it that we are able to inspire and motivate other nations, it’s an absolutely great idea.
“If I could have some contribution in making these children head to sailing clubs & try out the sport, then I would actually feel successful. It’s the ultimate theme. I did share my medal with the children as I wanted the younger ones to see & feel it. I feel this would able to inspire them, the very way I got inspired. I’m hopeful that I could be a major reason for some to get into sea & sail.”
The Greek sailing lady is at UAE for Abu Dhabi’s inaugural ISAF World Finals which started at Corniche this November.
The top twenty sailors in ten disciplines would compete for the championship titles. The season would culminate with rounds at China’s Qingado, Australia’s Melbourne, Miami, Spain’s Mallorca & France’s Hyeres.