American Win

by Norris Comer

American-WinU.S. Paralympians Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell, and Hugh Freund have won silver in the Sonar class, the three-person Paralympic keelboat division, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The race was the last in the series, and the trio clearly went all out. Their silver medal was the best finish by any American sailor (or sailing team) at either the 2016 Rio Olympics or the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

“Rick, Brad, and Hugh sailed a great series and earned their silver medal today by racing smart and fast in the final race, on a difficult course and under pressure,” said Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing Josh Adams in a press release.

Doerr (56) is a surgeon in his professional life and sustained an injury from a car accident in 1992 that left him wheelchair-bound. Kendell (35) hails from a family of professional sailors, but a plane crash in 2003 claimed the lives of his father and a friend. The crash also resulted in the amputation of his legs above the knees. Freund (28) lost his right foot to an aggressive form of bone cancer. The talented trio also won the 2016 Sonar Worlds earlier this year.

All three of them, and the country they represent, should be proud.

Photo: ©Will Ricketson/U.S. Sailing

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