Dream in doubt: Kiwi Olympian suffers serious training accident

Author
Christopher Reive, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Jun 2021, 3:58PM
Erica Dawson is due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in the Nacra 17. (Photo / Photosport)
Erica Dawson is due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in the Nacra 17. (Photo / Photosport)

Dream in doubt: Kiwi Olympian suffers serious training accident

Author
Christopher Reive, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Jun 2021, 3:58PM

Kiwi sailor Erica Dawson is in a race against time to make the starting line for the Tokyo Olympics next month after a serious training accident in Australia this week.

Dawson and her skipper Micah Wilkinson, who have been working alongside the Australian team in the build up to the Games, were training on their Nacra 17 catamaran on Tuesday when Dawson fell off the boat, hit the rudder and broke her fibula in her left leg.

"There have been many tears," Dawson wrote on Instagram. "But also managed many laughs despite the situation we are in.

"I will do my absolute best for a speedy recovery to be on that start line with Micah and come out stronger."

The Tokyo Games will be the first for both Dawson and Wilkinson, who only started working together two years ago.

For Dawson, the Olympics campaign will be yet another step in what has become a busy year for her, as she has been a part of New Zealand's debut campaign in SailGP.

Dawson was with the team for the first event in Bermuda in April, but missed the second meeting of the season in Italy in June as she had returned to New Zealand to focus on the Olympic Games, alongside SailGP crew mates Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who will be competing at the Olympics in the 49er.

Earlier this year, Dawson said joining the SailGP team provided her and crew mate Liv Mackay an opportunity to be someone young women can look up to in the sport.

"It's really great for younger girls to see other females in the highest level of our sport so that they believe they can do the same," she said.

"It's an important step for this sport to be taking to make it more gender-equal and is sending a really cool message.

"For us to be on equal playing fields means these girls will get the chance to upskill, which could help them meet the requirements to be on the Cup team, so it's definitely a good step in the right direction."

If her injury heals in time, Dawson and Wilkinson will begin their Olympic campaign on July 28.