Argentinian Windsurfer looks to claim gold at YOG 2018 | Youth Olympic Games

My name is Celina Saubidet Birkner and I practice windsurfing. Windsurfing is a very important part of my life, especially because I always practice this sport with my family. It’s a unique experience because you’re gliding on the water, spending all day in contact with nature, while going at speed on the water. I have two siblings and we consider windsurfing a family sport. When my dad was younger, he practiced windsurfing and now he has a sailing club. He taught the three of us how to sail together and we have never stopped. It’s been three years since I started being homeschooled, as this way, I can train more and travel to more competitions. I sail five days a week. I also go to the gym five days a week. There are times when I don’t feel like training but I push myself to do it, because I know I need to be a good athlete. To practice windsurfing you need to use your whole body. When there’s wind, you need to use your legs to hold on to the board, and withstand the wind. You use your core because you have a harness and you need to lean towards the water Your arms need to hold on to the sail. Our exercises at the gym help us become more agile. It is not necessary to have a lot of strength because that will make us heavier on the board and slower as well. At the same time, we need to have enough strength to be able to stay on the board, row and hold on to the sail. We need to be in good physical condition so we often go running or we also row on the rowing machine. I usually wake up around 8:30 in the morning and I go to the gym for about an hour. Afterwards, I come to the club to assemble my sail. Then I sail on the water for two hours. Assembling the sail takes me about five minutes. The first thing we do is stretch the sail. Then we connect the mast and extender followed by the boom. And your sail is assembled. After assembling the sail, I bring the board outside and I’m ready to go on the water. It may seem like we’re not exerting a lot of physical effort. But, if the wind isn’t strong, we need to pump with the sail to increase the speed. For that, we need to be in good physical condition. From the beginning of the regatta until you cross the finish line, you have to be completely focused on what you’re doing, and also on what your rivals are doing and what their strategy is. The Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018, is going to be close to where I have always sailed. That makes me feel calm because I’ve sailed in this river since I started and I already know it very well. Competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018 would be the best thing that could happen to me. My motivation is to be able to be like my brothers and see how far I can reach.

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