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bye bye ben; us fail

Straight off the Ben Ainslie PR machine:

Ben Ainslie today announced his retirement from Olympic sailing. At London 2012 Ainslie cemented his place in sporting history by securing his fourth consecutive gold medal, it was the culmination of an Olympic career spanning sixteen years. The final gold medal also entered Ainslie into the history books making the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.

For Ainslie the decision was not an easy one, “When I look back there are so many special memories; from that first medal in Atlanta 16 years ago to carrying the flag at the closing ceremony in London 2012. London was an incredibly special Olympics, competing on home waters and in front of a home crowd, I don’t think anything will be able to top that experience. But you have to move forwards and it is time to move onto the next challenge in my career.”

And US Ailing examines the dismal Olympic effort. In part:

We failed to understand the specific needs of each class and to support the individual needs of the sailors who had risen to the top. A “one size fits all” approach was followed as the basis for most training decisions for all classes. Panel comment: “One size does not fit all. It is critical that our approach be flexible enough to allow appropriate responses to a wide variety of situations.” More.