Q&A with Team GB's sailinggold medal hope Ben Ainslie


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The Independent Online

Three-times gold medallist Ben Ainslie talks about his first Olympic memory what he would do if he wasn't a sailor.

What would you like to be good at that you’re not?

Languages. I speak a little bit of Spanish but not very well. I’d like to be able to master a few languages if I could.

What’s your first Olympic memory?

It was probably the 1988 Games in Seoul and, in particular, the 100m race which Ben Johnson won but was later disqualified for doping. I remember watching that quite clearly.

What about your first sailing memory?

That’s an easy one. It was when I was eight years old and I was first allowed to sail on my own in an Optimist dinghy. I’d done some sailing before but that’s the first early moment of my sailing career that sticks out. I loved that freedom from day one and I’m glad my parents gave me that.

What’s your bad habit?

I’m not sure. I think it’d probably be speeding both on the water and on dry land. That’s my main vice I’d say.

Comedy or crime when it comes to a film?

I guess it depends on the mood but more often than not I’m in the mood for a comedy. That’s my sort of thing.

Favourite film?

I’d have to go with Shawkshank Redemption. It might be unoriginal as I know it’s a lot of people’s choice but it’s a classic.

What’s your ultimate meal?

I’d have to say steak and chips.

And your ideal holiday destination?

The British Virgin Islands and not because it’s a tax haven. I’ve been lucky to go there a few times and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a stunning location, there’s beautiful reefs, it’s just a very relaxed placed to be. So I’d definitely pick that one.