June 22, 2016
Parkhill has been the Canadian frontrunner in the Laser class for the past year, bringing home a Bronze medal at 2015 the Pan Am Games and placing 5th at the Rio Olympic Test event in August. Subsequently, Lee was honoured with the 2015 Rolex Sailor of the Year award. “To say that I am elated would be an understatement. I have dedicated much of my life towards the sport of sailing. I’ve been sailing in the Laser class since I was 13 years old, and competing internationally since 2008. My ultimate goal has been to qualify for the Olympics, and yesterday I learned that my dream has come true!”
The journey to the achieving the dream is never without heartbreak along the way. “I’ve certainly had many ups and downs in terms of results during the last four years of sailing. I’ve witnessed the intense loss amongst friends in other countries who do not qualify, and I’ve experienced that loss first hand myself during the last 2012 Olympic qualifier. My fellow Canadian teammates, and competitors, Robert Davis and Evert McLaughlin, have been an integral part to me reaching my goal today, along with our coach, Steve Mitchell. My hat goes off to both Rob and Evert for pushing our team as a whole to get better.”
The Toronto native sails out of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and has been member of the National Team for eight years. “This past year has been the strongest in my sailing career, and will likely be one the most memorable years of my life. Last summer began with a Bronze medal at the Pan Am Games and this winter I was honoured with the Rolex Sailor of the Year award. A few months ago, my daughter, Emma Rose was born. Now I look forward to representing my country at the Olympic Games!”
A total of nine Canadian sailors have currently punched their ticket to Rio. Lee Parkhill will be nominated to the Canadian Olympic Committee along with Finn sailor Tom Ramshaw, Laser Radial sailor Brenda Bowskill, Nacra teammates Nikola Girke and Luke Ramsay, 49erFX squad Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd and 470 sailors Jacob and Graeme Saunders at the end of June.
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Rio 2016 Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by Sail Canada.