Odile van Aanholt from Curaçao has won a Silver Medal at the Youth Olympic Games held in Nanjing, China. She lost the Gold by one point to Samantha JingYi Yom from Singapore.
Van Aanholt, who was leading the fleet for five days, started the last race with a four point lead on Yom. Both had such a big margin on the rest of the fleet that the Gold and Silver would be decided between the two female sailors. Van Aanholt started well in drizzling, misty weather with very light air and seemed certain of taking the Gold Medal. However, just before the finish she got trapped in a hole in the wind and moved back into seventh place. Yom rounded the last mark in third place but finished second as the leader of the race Maria Erdi mistakenly started sailing another lap after rounding the bottom mark, but returned and finished between Yom and Van Aanholt.
Van Aanholt, while representing the Netherlands Antilles and Curaçao, won several North American and South American Optimist titles and started sailing under the Dutch flag at the Byte CII Worlds in Newport last year (first Youth Olympics qualifier). The IOC took away the Olympic recognition of the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee and decided that athletes who represented the Netherlands Antilles chose Aruba or The Netherlands when participating in any Games (Olympics, CAC Games and Pan Am Games).
As current European and World Champion, Odile was chosen to carry the flag of the Netherlands during the opening ceremony entering the stadium in front of 60,000 spectators—quite an honor for the young sailor. Other Caribbean sailors who had the honor of carrying their national flag at the ceremony were Paul de Souza (BAH), Florence Allan (CAY), Sam Morrell (IVB) and Paige Clarke (ISV).
Sixteen-year-old Odile has had an unbelievably successful year, sailing in the top of three different sailing classes. In April she became World Champion in Italy in the Youth Olympic Byte CII Class. In the double-handed 29er Class, together with Lars van Stekelenborg, she won the Open Dutch Youth Championships under 18, and finished fourth overall at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Portugal. In Norway she won a Silver medal at the singlehanded Laser 4.7 European Championships and now Silver at the Youth Olympics in China.
A sailing family: At the last Youth Olympics, held in 2010 in Singapore, Odile’s brother, Just van Aanholt, took the Bronze for the Netherlands Antilles. Sister Philipine participated in London as an independent athlete under the Olympic Flag. Father Cor van Aanholt carried the Netherlands Antilles flag at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
More information on the Youth Olympic Games, visit: www.nanjing2014.org
RESULTS SCORED BY THE OTHER CARIBBEAN SAILORS:
7th Celeste Lugtmeijer Cathelier (Dominican Republic)
10th Cecilia Wollmann (Bermuda)
16th Paige Clarke (USVI)
22nd Florence Allan (Cayman Islands)
28th Abigail Affoo Trinidad &Tobago)
14th Scott McKenzie (USVI)
17th Pablo Bertran (Cayman Islands)
20th Luc Chevrier (St. Lucia)
22nd Samuel Morrell (BVI)
23rd Paul de Souza (Bahamas)
24th Rhone Kirby (Antigua & Barbuda)
Techno 293 (boys)
14th Mack van den Eerenbeemt (Aruba)
19th Lucas Miranda Martinez (Puerto Rico)