The Ryan family experience | Elise's Blog

Published 6 August 2016 (AEDT) | Author Elise Ryan

Elise Ryan - sister of Will and Jaime Ryan (sailing)

As the count down to the start of the Rio Games gets smaller, I am getting more and more excited. On Saturday I will be watching the Opening Ceremony with my parents and dad’s parents - watching on as it all begins before we jump on the plane on Sunday morning and fly to Rio!

The excitement of being involved in all of the Rio action, two weeks off university, and getting to see Will and Jay has had me telling everyone I know about the amazing experience ahead.

We are a very close family and it feels like a lot longer than only a few weeks since we had a farewell with family and friends before they both headed off to Rio for the last time, to set up their boats and train whilst getting more experience with the different weather conditions.

Rowing pictogram

Sailing in general can be a hard sport to follow for spectators. At the Games there will be several different courses that are located within the bay and offshore. Fortunately the Men and Women 470 will be sailing on the same course as each other during the Games – otherwise it would have been tricky trying to choose who to watch each day. Trying to make sure we don’t play favorites!

It was such an exciting time for us all when Will got announced as part of the Australian Olympic team early on. Whilst not a total surprise after he and Mat won the World Championships in Israel last year, it was a proud moment to see him with his ticket. Next when the news came about Jaime being announced as a member of the team, it didn’t seem possible! As only one boat from Australia is selected in each class, it is pretty incredible to have a sibling competing in both the Mens and Womens 470 class.

Last year the 470 World Championships were held in Israel, where Mat and Will came away with gold, and Carrie and Jaime came 9th winning the last Olympic quote spot in the 470 Womens class. It was an amazing event and I was lucky enough to be there with my dad to be their support crew. I feel like Rio will be another thrilling and nerve racking event, and I cannot wait to be there to cheer them on again!

Since I can remember I have been on the support team for my brother Will. Every school holiday we would travel somewhere new within Australia to be there as he did his best. I always looked forward to the holidays, somewhere new, always by the water. But the best part were the red frogs that Will got for ‘energy’ while he was racing that he would always share with my two sisters and I.

Rowing pictogram

Soon my two sisters got sick of being the support crew and started sailing themselves. As they became more competitive they all began travelling overseas to compete, making the logistics a little bit harder. Having to ship boats and fly with sails is something we all take as normal these days – but we always get some funny looks at the airports. Then towing their boats from regatta to regatta all over Europe!

As their number one supporter I have had many great holidays and adventures helping them, such as towing three boats over 2, 000km from Amsterdam to Spain. Many flat tires, maccas stops and good old fashioned road trip songs later,.I’m grateful that I have been included in their journey from the beginning to now.

I have always written Will and Jaime a good luck card for every regatta they go in, but for the Olympics I decided to dye socks green and gold for all of their supporters. So from Australia to Rio we are all ready to cheer them on in our green and gold as they begin a new chapter of their adventure!

<h5>Carrie Smith action shot</h5>
<p>Carrie Smith action shot</p>
&copy; Getty Images Jaime Ryan

Jaime Ryan

<h5>Will Ryan and Mathew Belcher</h5>
<p>Will Ryan and Mathew Belcher at the Open Europeans Championships 2015.</p>
&copy; Nikos Alevromytis Will Ryan

Will Ryan



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