We spoke to Karl-Martin Rammo, an Estonian Olympic sailor who will be competing in the 2016 Olympics. He offered insight into his sailing career and his preparation for Rio.
LP: Thanks for speaking with us, Karl. Let’s start off by discussing what makes Rio a great sailing venue?
In my mind, the biggest upside of sailing in Rio is the diversity. With having 7 different race areas for the Games, they all offer very different conditions with very different keys to success. You really have to be an all-around performer to be able to do well there. That keeps things interesting and open where a lot of people can perform on an exquisite level and also, on the flip side, really find themselves with a lot to work with.
LP: What is there to do in Rio when you’re not sailing?
Rio has ridiculous views! When having time off, I like to go hiking to reach some of the mountaintops, be it Chris the Redeemer, or something different. I guess the beaches are also a must see, but I have to admit, I haven’t spent extended time there, just popped through. I quite enjoy the restaurant scene as well; they like their meat!
LP: That’s great. How do you plan on staying healthy during the big event?
I try to eat the right foods, do recovery on a bike after racing, and eat quality nutrition products. I’m lucky to have a couple of partners on board that help me with nutritional products and recovery products such as foam rollers, etc., which really helps. I do a lot of foam-rolling and stretching-dynamic before racing and static after racing. Some people don’t believe in stretching, but for my body, it seems to be essential. And, to be fair, you really can’t overemphasize proper clothing. Be it warm clothes for cold weather or a jacket for weather like we have in Rio, where you pop into air-conditioned rooms where it is cold and then right back into the hot sun. It’s easy to catch a cold like that and it is important to take proper care of these situations.
LP: Nice. What’s the best way to deal with jet lag?
I feel that the best way to get over jet lag is to get right into a routine, wake up the right time, eat quality foods at the right times and get into a training rhythm. You should just watch out for starting too eagerly, the first training sessions, be it on the water, or in the gym. You should be easy just getting back into it.
LP: We agree. So, why did you start sailing?
To be honest, when I started sailing, it was because my dad took me to a sailing school. He sailed when he was young and I guess he figured it was the kind of sport his son should try out. He was right! Being that I had no idea what sailing was up until that point, I was hooked after the first try and I’ve never looked back. I guess the real question to people sailing at the Games should be, “why are you still sailing?” and to answer that question the answer is a bit more complex. On one hand I have a massive drive to represent my country and make it, as well as myself, proud with the results I post, but more importantly, sailing is a highly enjoyable, multi dimensional, demanding sport, where the variables are endless. I truly enjoy the diversity of our sport, the water and the wind. It’s a lifestyle.
LP: Wow, that’s such a wonderful answer. How do you handle disappointments from sailing?
After a disappointment I try to keep calm, see the bigger picture and try not to let emotions take over. After all, disappointments are one of the biggest motivators, so I guess my way of dealing with it is analyzing the areas that didn’t hold up and work harder to improve in these areas.
LP: That’s a really inspiring attitude. Do you have any thoughts on what we should ask the next Laser sailor?
Ask for his/her secret to success and speed and let them email the answer straight to me! Haha, but seriously- everyone has their strong and weak points. It would be nice to hear what let’s say, Robert Scheidt, thinks his biggest strength on the water is. (I have a weird hunch that it might be experience?)
Well, Robert, what do you think your biggest strength is?!
Stay tuned for more #ReadySetRio interview answers from top sailors like Karl-Martin!
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