Despite British accent, sailor says she's all American
By Erik Brady, USA TODAY
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Olympians who win gold medals tend to keep them in safe places, like safety deposit boxes or underwear drawers. Not Anna Tunnicliffe. She takes hers most places she goes.
Ask why and she shows a golden smile. "Why not?" she says. "It's my medal."
Now she wants another, this time in the new Olympic sailing discipline of women's match racing. When Tunnicliffe won the Laser Radial class in Beijing, she became the first American woman to win sailing gold in 20 years — and this summer she could become the first to win a second.
Crewmate Debbie Capozzi says Tunnicliffe's move from a one-woman dinghy to skipper of a three-woman boat "is very hard to do, like going from NASCAR to Indy racing."
And so here she is, smoothly moving through a grueling morning session of CrossFit training at a no-frills, cinderblock gym, firing off rapid sets of pull-ups, shoulder touches and box jumps in gut-wrenching, gym-sprinting sequence. Tunnicliffe shows off rock-hard abs and bulging biceps, looking very much the most-muscled sailor since Popeye.
"We have really long days on the water," she says. "And the windier it gets the more fit you have to be, because you have to use your body weight to counter the wind pushing against your sails. This is no booze cruise across the bay."
Read the full article by Brady on Tunnicliffe and watch a video feature here.