Born on 5th of February 1977
Ben Ainslie, along with 1960's/70's Olympian Rodney Pattison, is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor. He is also the youngest British Olympic sailing medallist.
At the age of only 19 Ainslie made his Olympic debut in the Laser class at the Centennial games in 1996 in Atlanta. Ainslie had to settle for silver after he fought off Robert Scheidt of Brazil. Both men were disqualified after difficulties at the start which meant the positions remained unchanged from the previous round, with Scheidt robbing Ainslie of a potential gold medal.
Born in Macclesfield but now a resident of Lymington in Hampshire, he won the Laser World Championship in 1998 and 1999.
At the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 he once again got into a great battle with Scheidt. This time it was Ainslie who came out with the gold medal with Scheidt having to settle for silver.
After he took part in the One World Challenge for the Americas Cup he returned to the Olympics in a different class, the Finn. It meant he had to add 15 kilos to his body weight, but Ainslie proved he was a match for the challenge. In 2002 he won gold in his new class at the World Championships, a title he defended successfully in 2003 and 2004.
At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games he was unfortunately disqualified in two races but that merely served to strengthen his resolve and he won three of the next four races. With good performances in the remainder, Ainslie secured the Olympic gold medal once again.
Ben Ainslie was once again picked for the British Olympic team for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Ainslie comes from a sailing family, his father Roddy had skippered 'Second Life' in the first Whitbread Round the World Race of 1973-74. His sailing career started at the age of eight in Restronguet, Cornwall, since then he has gone on to become one of Britain's most successful Olympians.
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