Sailor of the Week - January 14 - January 20
For Sailor the Week Johnny Lovell of New Orleans, LA, sailing was just “the thing to do” in the Lovell family. His dad, John Lovell Sr., a competitive Star boat sailor, encouraged all of his children to sail and Johnny credits him with being the most influential person in his athletic career. At nine years old, Johnny started sailing Optis and later graduated to 420s. Driven by his success, he quickly moved up through the ranks.
Along the way, Johnny’s accomplishments included being named an ICSA-All American collegiate sailor four times (1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990) and numerous podium finishes at national and international championships. In 1991, Johnny started sailing multihulls with an eye to the future and the desire to sail in an Olympic class boat. Although he enjoyed both single and double-handed sailing, the Tornado was the best fit for his body size, which led him to his partnership with longtime crewmate Charlie Ogletree. Johnny says: “Successful teamwork begins with respect for each other, finding someone with the same goals and enjoying spending time together… I was very luck to have a great crew for so many years with Charlie.” Together, they competed in four consecutive Olympic regattas: At the 1996 Olympic Games in Savannah, GA, they finished eighth and four years later, they finished seventh at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia. In 2004, Johnny was named U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Captain where he experienced, what he called “his proudest moment,” winning the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Johnny completed his fourth consecutive Olympic campaign at the 2008 Games in Qingdao, China. He’s now looking forward to staying close to home with his family, competing in club, regional and national regattas and teaching his four-year-old son, Nick, to sail. However, he also wants to give something back to the sport that has been so central in his life. Again, with an eye to the future, he is serving as the U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Chair to support and encourage the next generation of young sailors… all the way to the Olympics!