EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A well-known Rhode Island name is getting ready to represent the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Louisa Chafee will compete on the Olympic Sailing team this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The daughter of former Governor Lincoln Chafee began sailing in 2009 after graduating high school.
“I just wanted to go sailing,” she said in an interview with Eyewitness, saying she never imagined she would be heading to the Olympics.
The 24-year-old qualified for the Olympic sailing team earlier this month at a regatta in Clearwater, Florida.
Her partner, Bora Gulari, is the skipper and Chafee is the crew on the 2 person catamaran., a Nacra 17 named Phoenix.
We knew going into Clearwater, it would be a challenge,” Chafee said. “But we were still confident. Honestly, we believed in each other and we just kept pushing each, being like ‘no, no, we can do this. we can do this.”
Louisa Chafee sailed for Brown University where she was a three-time All-American. In 2012 she sailed in a Parent/Alumni Regatta with her dad, then-Governor Lincoln Chafee.
We asked her what it’s like to now be in the spotlight herself.
“I’m glad that we have spotlights in our own ways. I’m making a mark in more of an athletic way and he made his mark in politics. It’s just nice that I have someone to turn to to be like ‘how do I handle my campaign?”
Chafee says both her parents have been extremely supportive. and attended her qualifying regatta in Florida.
Chafee does much of her training in Newport, but she plans to travel to Brazil soon to train at the Olympic venue and prepare for the games in August.