When the Parade of Nations kicks off the 2012 Olympic Games tonight in London, leading the team from Guatemala and bearing his country’s flag will be College of Charleston senior sailor Juan Maegli.
Maegli, 24, will be participating in his second consecutive Olympics in sailing’s laser class, which begins competition Monday. He also competed in 2008 in Beijing, prior to enrolling at the College of Charleston.
“To be chosen to do this is a great honor,” Maegli told the website g4s.com. “I’ve always wanted to carry my flag and I will be lucky enough to have the experience in London.
“The chance to represent my country at the Olympics means a lot to me. It’s something I’ve worked really hard for during the last five years and I can’t wait to begin competing.”
Maegli sailed for the College of Charleston from 2008 through 2010. He won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association/Laser Performance Singlehanded Championship in 2010 and earned All-America honors.
Maegli’s father, Juan Estuardo Maegli, sailed in three Olympic Games — Montreal in 1976, Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984.
Greg Fisher, director of sailing for the College of Charleston for the past two seasons, said he hasn’t actually been able to coach Maegli, who has taken time off from school to pursue his Olympic dream but will return to the Cougars in the fall. Maegli is a business administration major.
“He was fourth in the World Championships in the class he’s sailing, so we have high hopes for him,” Fisher said. “He was an excellent sailor when he was here and he was a great asset. We’re looking forward to having him come back and sail for us.”
Maegli isn’t the only College of Charleston athlete competing in the 2012 Olympics. Andrew Lawrence, a rising senior on the men’s basketball team, is a member of Great Britain’s basketball team.