This week, Oakville’s own Lee Parkhill is set to take the world in the ongoing Rio Olympics. He arrived at the Olympic village a week ago and have prepared for 14 years plus an additional 2 weeks at Rio earlier this year. The race for the gold medal is this week.
Sailing for Gold
Parkhill will be guiding his single-handed laser dingy, amidst reportedly polluted water, terrorist activity, and the possibility of contracting the Zika virus. On the bright side, he’s been quoted as saying that he has not seen a single mosquito by the water in his emails to the Beaver. He also added that he’ll be wearing bug spray every day for precaution.
Parkhill left for Rio just a few days after the send-off and fundraising event at the Oakville Yacht Squadron club where he first developed his love for sailing. According to him, the send-off was a huge morale boost and he appreciates the financial help from the fundraiser as campaigning for the Olympics have incurred quite a substantial cost. He shared that having such a passionate and large group of supporters as an athlete will help him push to be his best.
Concerns in Rio
The quality of the water in Rio has been making news worldwide, as well as the safety of the Olympians staying at the Olympic village. Parkhill said that water quality is not an issue for him and that in his opinion, it is not as dirty as what is being portrayed in the media and numerous circulating videos. Parkhill further shared that there is a lot of police and military presence around the Olympic village as well as venues and routes leading to it.
Parkhill, the Sailor
Parkhill will be manning a laser class, the most popular sailboat in the world and one of the most competitive for sailing. Our representative will be facing quite a competition ahead, as he shared that about half of the 46 competing teams in the laser class have a fighting chance to win a race in his opinion.
Parkhill also shared that although he’d had success sailing in Rio in the past, sailing in the Olympics is a whole new ball game and he will do his best as always. He did say that a medal is a possibility if he does have a great week.
Like other sailors like himself, Parkhill was introduced to sailing on a laser. He had been competing competed in the class of the simple-to-learn low-cost boat since he was 13. Now at 27, our athlete is a young husband and a new father, a designation he takes a lot of pride and inspiration from.
Our sailor calls his daughter, Emma Rose, his good-luck charm. He found out his wife was pregnant whilst trying to get qualified for the Olympics. He finished fifth at the Olympic test event and was also named as Canada’s Rolex sailor-of-the-year aside from having a Pan Am bronze.
Our athlete says being a dad gave him a new perspective and that he’s forever grateful to people who’ve helped him along the way, including his club, supporters, sponsors, friends, and of course his parents and family. He credits them with helping him achieve his Olympic dream in various but equally important ways.
Rumor has it that there must be something in Oakville’s water for our town to produce so many achievers and champions in various fields. Care to find out? Come live with us here in Oakville! Contact us to schedule a viewing of our available Oakville homes!