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Simpson sails in

Posted on 12 September 2008  - 12:00

Olympic gold medal winner and Spurs fan Andrew Simpson swapped the water of Qingdao, China, to visit one of his sporting fields of dreams at Spurs Lodge this week.

Simpson sails in

Olympic gold medal winner and Spurs fan Andrew Simpson swapped the water of Qingdao, China, to visit one of his sporting fields of dreams at Spurs Lodge this week.

The Dorset-based sailor took time out from his hectic schedule following his memorable success in Beijing to look around the training ground and answer some questions from our Academy players.

Andrew teamed up with lifelong friend and Sydney gold medalist Iain Percy to join Team GB's gold rush in the Star class at the sailing event, taking the top prize after a gruelling 11 races in total.

The pair prepared for 18 months for that moment - the only down side of such dedication a lack of time to get to the Lane.

"The trouble with sailing is that I'm always away and I don't get to many games, probably three a year if I'm lucky," he said. "Every time I get the opportunity I try to go and I'm lucky because one of the games I managed to get to last season was the League Cup Final at Wembley. What a day that was!"

Andrew's love of Spurs goes back 25 years. "At the age of five I remember being at a friend's house and it was the age when everyone was getting into football, you love playing and play at opportunity. That's all you want to do in life - play football.

"One of my best friend's dads was a lifelong Spurs fan and he dragged us along at the age of five and had it drummed into me from there. That game was at White Hart Lane I think against QPR, many years ago. As soon as I went it felt like it was the best thing ever."

Andrew Simpson

Andrew - who will be introduced to fans on the pitch during half-time of Monday's match against Villa - admitted his head was still spinning after helping Team GB gather most golds in the sailing and therefore contributing to an overall fourth place in the medal table. "It's still sinking in now, to be honest. After the race we went out for a few beers and I remember ringing Iain the next morning at about nine o'clock - probably still feeling a bit worse for wear - and said ‘mate, we won, and we don't have to go sailing today', we'd sailed every day for about six months. It was great not to go out in the boat for a day!"

There is another link between Andrew and Spurs - our Non-Executive Director Sir Keith Mills.

Sir Keith is the Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. In September 2003, he was appointed International President and CEO of London 2012 and led the team which delivered the successful bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He is also Team Principle for Team Origin, the British entry into the America's Cup - Andrew one of his sailors.

"Bart is one of the best sailors in the world," said Sir Keith, revealing Andrew's nickname. "His whole life is focused on his sport - the professionalism, the attention to detail, the diets and fitness regimes. It's all about dedication.

Andrew Simpson

"The parallels are there even between football and sailing in reaching and competing in that elite level of sport. In order to win a gold medal it's about having the right equipment, the coaches, the right preparation, the role of the British Olympic Association and their training camps, the Royal Yachting Association and their training camps and all those things together made for the most successful sailing team in the world.

"He and Iain have a great chance in 2012. They are focusing on two things at the moment - the America's Cup, that's the World Cup of sailing and the Olympics. Now he's got his gold medal he'll have absolutely every chance of doing a double with the Olympics and America's Cup when he's likely to race in 2011. Then it will be onto the 2012 Olympics."

Look out for an interview with Andrew on Spurs TV Online this weekend...