For the seventh consecutive time, the College of Charleston sailing team will be represented in the Summer Olympics.
The Cougars’ Stefano Peschiera, 20, qualified to sail in the Laser — a 14-foot one-person racing boat — for his home country of Peru for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Peschiera won’t be the only sailor with ties to the College of Charleston. The ICSA 2013 college sailor of the year, Juan Maegli, will represent Guatemala for the third time (2008, ’12 and ’16). Maegli, 26, was the flag bearer for Guatemala during the opening ceremony in 2012. He finished ninth at the London Games and was in the top 40 at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Peschiera and Maegli join Jim Brady (1992) and John Lovell (1996, ’00, ’04 and ’08) as other College of Charleston sailors to compete in the Olympics. Andrew Lawrence (2012 basketball) is the only other Cougars athlete to participate in the Summer Games.
Maegli finished fourth and Peschiera 24th at the Laser World Championships held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which ended Wednesday.
“I know Stefano is very excited about qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. This is a tremendous accomplishment for him, his family and all of Peru,” College of Charleston head sailing coach Ward Cromwell said. “Having sailors on your team who are competing at the Olympic Level is always nice. Our team, the athletic department and the entire school are proud of Stefano and look forward to watching his continued development leading into the Games.”
While sailing for the College of Charleston, Peschiera captured the Glen S. Foster Trophy for winning the ICSA men’s single-handed nationals in Bellingham, Wash., in November. He is just the sixth sailor in school history to win the single-handed event and first since Maegli did in 2012. Peschiera’s victory also helped the College of Charleston win the prestigious Leonard B. Fowle Trophy, awarded annually to the best overall sailing team in the country. The College of Charleston also won the Fowle Trophy in 1986, 1988, 1998, 2007 and 2012.
“I want to thank all my team, to the people who are behind me and support me to be able to fulfill my dreams, they already know who they are,” Peschiera posted, translated from Spanish, on his Facebook page. “Above all, to thank my coach Airam Rodrigues, because thanks to him I am where I am, I would have failed without the great work and dedication that we give to this sport. Together we are learning a lot and we believe in us. And, to thank my parents, another key element in my life, because they always (told me to) follow my dreams and gave everything to see me meet them.”
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