Lost British Olympic sailing team of 1980 seek recognition

As

our Olympic sailors make their final preparations for 2012, the British sailing

team
who were forced to boycott the 1980 Moscow games are pressing the RYA for

recognition.

While

Sebastian Coe and most of the other British sporting elite defied Prime

Minister Margaret Thatcher’s call to boycott the Moscow Olympics, the sailing

team had their entries withdrawn by the RYA and their medal-hopes shattered.

Coe went on to be made a Lord, and since 1980 many Olympic medallists have

received honours including knighthoods and OBEs.

Colin

Simonds, selected to represent Britain in the Soling class says: ‘Three of our

team members won the European championships in their classes in 1980 within a

month of the Olympics – beating all the eventual medal winners. They had a Gold

medal and an MBE stolen from their grasp by the RYA without any consultation or

discussion. The medals are gone – but when will the RYA make best

endeavours to put these three fantastic people who have served their sport for

a lifetime up for an MBE? The USA team were all given Congressional medals of

honour at the White House, we got a printed scroll – by post.’

He added,

‘The RYA is doing a great job for the team these days but wants to make sure

that even under extreme pressure they never stop their team racing again.’

Tomorrow

is the RYA’s AGM and the 1980 sailing team will repeat their request to the RYA

to:

a)

forego the right going forward unilaterally to prevent a team attending and

b)

make a suitable and agreed gesture to those that they prevented attending in

1980.

Simonds is asking supporters to email 1980OlympicCampaign@talktalk.net to be forwarded to

the CEO of the RYA.

A letter to the RYA has been signed by one or more members of every

surviving crew selected for the 1980 Olympic Games:
• Flying Dutchman: Pat Blake and Christian Houchin.
• 470: Jerry Richards
• Soling: Colin Simonds, Gavin Simonds and Chris Osborne
• Star: Andrew Hurst
• Tornado: Rob White and David Campbell-James
• Finn:

Tim Law on behalf of his brother Chris who died in 2007