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Olivia Price

Age

31

Place of Birth

DARLINGHURST, NSW

Hometown

Sydney

Senior Club

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Coach

Victor Paya

Olympic History

London 2012

Paris 2024

High School

St Catherine's School & Sydney Distance Education High School

Career Events

Womens Elliott 6m - Match Racing

 

Olivia's Story

One session out on the water was all it took for Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price to fall back in love with the sport of sailing and embark on a campaign to compete at the Paris Games.

Sydney sailor Olivia, who won silver in the Elliot 6m Match Racing event at the London Games, had been retired for five years after suffering a serious back injury and the disappointment of not being selected for Rio, when she was approached by young sailor Evie Haseldine.

Evie, who was looking for a mentor, sought Olivia’s guidance and the pair went for a sail – and out on the water something clicked. By the time they had dragged the craft from the water they began dreaming about Paris.

“Everything just fell into place with Evie getting in touch with me,” Olivia said. “I think the dynamic that we have is, you know, we feed off each other very well.”

The pair began sailing together in early 2022 and in August 2023 the first piece of their puzzle fell into place when they won a bronze medal at the World Championships in The Netherlands and secured Australia a quote spot in 49erFX class at Paris.

Olivia, now 32, was just 19 and on her Olympic debut when she skippered her crew of Lucinda Whitty and Nina Curtis to a silver medal at the 2012 Games.

She had started sailing on the ISAF World Cup Women's Match Racing Tour at the age of 16 and by 2010, Olivia had sailed to the ISAF Women's world No.1 rank as bowman. In what was an extremely successful year, Olivia claimed the 2010 Australian women's match racing champion as skipper and the Australian national open match racing champion as crew.

Midway through 2011, she began skippering her own boat on the ISAF World Cup and took out bronze in the third event with crew Nina and Lucinda. The trio went on to compete at the Olympic Test event in Weymouth, UK, where they finished fifth.

The crew headed to their debut Games full of confidence after some strong performances to kick off the Olympic year.

Fast-forward to 2023 – after missing out on Rio, Olivia decided to step away from sailing to concentrate on finishing her university degree and building her career. But there was clearly an itch that still needed to be scratched.

“At the period of lockdown, watching the Tokyo Olympics on the TV, working from home – I work in marketing – and I was just like, ‘OK, maybe there's something else I'd like to do in the short term’,” Olivia said.

Olivia had actually known Evie since she was born in 2003 because their fathers sailed together in 16ft skiffs at Drummoyne Sailing Club – and it was Evie’s dad who suggested the pair get together.

“I stopped sailing for about five years [but returned] once we had that conversation [about sailing together] 18 months ago,” Olivia said. “I wasn’t really looking for anything to step back into, but what really sparked my interest was Evie’s dedication, her enthusiasm for the sport and doing whatever was required.

“She was still quite young and didn’t know what it was going to take. But for me, I was just laughing. I thought, ‘Ok, well, maybe this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for in finding someone that is so similar in the way that we communicate and are dedicated to the process and what is required to be done.”

The pair, whose World Championship bronze medal is Australia’s best result in the 49erFX class, have enjoyed more success in the past 18 months than rival crews. And they put it all down to their level of communication.

“We like hanging out together,” Olivia said. “It's quite uncommon for sailors to hang out together and live together while overseas ... so we actually like spending time together.

“It’s natural and is a huge benefit when it comes to having the hard conversations in whether that be performance, psychology or an on-water debrief and just trying to figure out what's going on.

“We're willing to have those conversations and go, ‘OK, this is my opinion, this is your opinion, this is what the data says, so, at the end of the day the boat wants this to happen.’

“That is probably the biggest positive we have is our relationship – and it stemmed from our dads actually sailing together, which was kind of cool.”

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