Tears of a Champion – British Sailing Team

Eilidh McIntyre’s Instagram bio reads “my tears are my greatest strength” and she certainly showed it in a sailing documentary available to everyone.

The Olympic champion is one of the stars of ‘Chasing Tokyo’ as the British Sailing Team and Team GB give unprecedented access to a crew to document their journey to the delayed Games.

Working closely with sailors, the creators filmed anything and anywhere, from homes, shipping containers, gymnasiums and boardrooms, telling the untold story of the Olympic sailing team the most titled in the world.

“We were avoiding blockages and at the time I really liked having company!” said McIntyre, speaking ahead of the film’s release on Olympics.com on July 28.

“I love getting to know new people and appreciated the chance to be myself and show my emotions.”


In the film, McIntyre, who stars alongside Luke Patience and Tom Squires, repeatedly collapses. It was an opportunity to show a vulnerability she relished.

“I think I cried every time we filmed,” she said. “I’ve spent my whole life being told ‘get it together’. I cried every morning of the Olympics because I wanted it so badly and having tears in my eyes was my way of expressing that. This n wasn’t a bad thing.

“I learned to accept that emotion and used it to my advantage. It’s a huge strength. When I fight, I let that emotion come to the surface and it pushes me.

“Emotion was used to put people in sport in a box and I’ve changed my relationship with it now.”

A big part of the purpose of “Chasing Tokyo” is to demystify the sport of sailing, being one of the most technical and jargon-filled sports on the Olympic schedule.

McIntyre, who won 470 gold medals alongside Hannah Mills in Tokyo, thinks it’s the biggest challenge the sport has faced in a generation.

“In my mind, sailing lags behind other sports,” she said, “and not because we’re not interesting or exciting, because we never give that kind of access.

“Other sports are more open and share their whole life on social media. As British Sailing Team we are always so closed.

“We don’t want people to see our advantage because we’ve been ahead for so many years and we’re afraid of what people will learn from being part of our journey.

“We embarrassed ourselves doing this. There’s so much cool physics behind sailing and that’s what’s exciting, those are the stories behind it.

Watch Chasing Tokyo on Olympics.com starting July 28.

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