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#Rio2016 Dreams Become Reality For Charleston Sailors

          Release: 08/05/2016
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – For young sailors across the U.S. and abroad, the College of Charleston has always been a dream school.

With a rich tradition of producing College Sailors of the Year, numerous All-Americans and Olympians since the program’s inception in 1978, four current and former Cougars will set sail this weekend as the 2016 Summer Olympic Games get underway on Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

“The legacy of our sailing program and the many years of superb results – including national championship victories – is a major draw,” CofC Director of Sailing Greg Fisher said. “The international sailors recognize that there are few programs that offer both excellent coaching and a chance to regularly train with the best collegiate sailors in the U.S. Once they are here, they quickly realize that the sailing team camaraderie is truly special here at the College of Charleston."

Only two of The College’s seven all-time Olympians have medaled and all but one have been sailors. Leading the way for the Cougars’ medal hopes in Rio is 2013 ICSA College Sailor of the Year Juan Maegli (Class of ’13), who is making his third-consecutive Olympic appearance after finishing ninth overall in the medal race of the Men’s Laser class at the 2012 London Games.

Maegli’s success in Charleston has attracted other international sailors to follow in his footsteps including first-time Olympians in senior Enrique Arathoon (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and junior Stefano Peschiera (Lima, Peru), who will both compete against Maegli in the 46-competitor Men’s Laser class (one-person dinghy) in Rio.

“There are a number of reasons that Charleston has been a solid draw for international sailors,” Fisher said. “Juan Maegli had a great experience at CofC and his enthusiasm has helped with the exposure to our college. With the challenging harbor conditions and the opportunity to sail in the ocean, our sailing venue at Patriots Point provides super training opportunities for those with Olympic aspirations.”

Of the seven all-time Olympians, sophomore Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) stands out most of all – the first female Olympian and third American Olympian in school history next to 1992 Olympian and silver medalist Jim Brady (Soling Class) and four-time Olympian, CofC Athletics Hall of Famer and silver medalist John C. Lovell (Tornado Class). She previously spent one semester in Charleston as a freshman, took the 2015-16 school year off to train for the Rio Games and looks to return for the fall semester after Rio.

Henken and her Team USA teammate Helena Scott will sail in the Women’s 49er FX (two-handed skiff-type high performance sailing dinghy) class with 19 other countries vying for a Gold medal in the Olympic debut of the event.

“We are very proud of all of our student-athletes,” CofC Head Coach Ward Cromwell said. “It’s very special to have three current sailors represent their home countries in the upcoming Olympic Games. They have worked tirelessly and made many sacrifices to get to this point. We look forward to having that focus and dedication back in Charleston for the upcoming college sailing seasons and supporting the continued pursuit of their future Olympic aspirations.”

The Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony of the Rio Games will be aired on Friday, Aug. 5, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on NBC. The Men’s Laser event is slated to take place from Aug. 8-13 with the medal race on Aug. 15. The Women’s 49er FX event runs from Aug. 12-16 with the medal race scheduled for Aug. 18.


Jim Brady – United States – Sailing – Barcelona 1992 (Silver Medal – Soling Class)
John C. Lovell – United States – Sailing – Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 (Silver Medal – Tornado Class), Beijing 2008
Juan Maegli – Guatemala – Sailing – Beijing 2008, London 2012 (Flag Bearer), Rio 2016
Andrew Lawrence – Great Britain – Men’s Basketball – London 2012
Enrique Arathoon – El Salvador – Sailing – Rio 2016
Paris Henken – United States – Sailing – Rio 2016
Stefano Peschiera – Peru – Sailing – Rio 2016


Full Name: Enrique Jose Arathoon Pacas (goes by the nickname Quique)
Delegation: El Salvador
Experience: First Olympic Games (2016)
Class Year: Senior
Major: International Business
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala (dual citizenship Guatemala and El Salvador)
Twitter: @QArathoon
Instagram: @quiquearathoon
Event: Laser Men
Venue: Marina Da Gloria
Competition Dates: August 8-13 and August 15 (Medal Race)
Career Highlights: Qualified for the Rio Games with an 11th-place finish at the 2015 Pan American Games…Finished a career-best eighth in the Laser class at the 2016 Sailing World Cup…Placed fifth at the Laser North American Championship…Finished second at the South American Junior Lasers event.

Full Name: Paris Henken
Delegation: United States
Experience: First Olympic Games (2016)
Class Year: Sophomore
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Coronado, Calif.
Twitter: None
Instagram: @parishenken
Event: 49er FX Women (Olympic debut for event)
Venue: Marina Da Gloria
Competition Dates: August 12-16 and August 18 (Medal Race)
Career Highlights: 2015 Pan American Games (Bronze Medal)…Member of the top American team in the 49er FX class…2015 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider (49er FX)…2014 US Sailing Olympic Development Team (49er FX)…Member of the US Sailing Olympic Youth Development Team (29er) from 2010-12…With teammate, Helena Scott, became the first members named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team as the top American finishers (20th overall) at the 2015 49er FX World Championships.

Full Name: Juan Ignacio Maegli Agüero
Delegation: Guatemala
Experience: Third Olympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016)
Class Year: Class of 2013
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Twitter: @juanimaegli
Instagram: @juanimaegli
Event: Laser Men
Venue: Marina Da Gloria
Competition Dates: August 8-13 and August 15 (Medal Race)
Career Highlights: 2013 ICSA College Sailor of the Year and Everett B. Morris Trophy recipient…Three-Time Olympian…Two-Time ICSA All-American (2010 and 2013)…Two-Time ICSA LaserPerformance Men’s Singlehanded Champion (2009 and 2012)…2015 Pan American Games (Gold Medal)…2011 Pan American Games (Bronze Medal)…2007 Pan American Games (Gold Medal)…Finished ninth in the medal race of the Laser class event at the 2012 London Games…Finished a career-best fourth at the 2012 and 2015 Laser World Championships.

Full Name: Stefano Peschiera Loret De Mola
Delegation: Peru
Experience: First Olympic Games (2016)
Class Year: Junior
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Twitter: @StefanoPeschier
Instagram: @stefopeschiera
Event: Laser Men
Venue: Marina Da Gloria
Competition Dates: August 8-13 and August 15 (Medal Race)
Career Highlights: 2014 ICSA LaserPerformance Men’s Singlehanded Champion and Glen S. Foster Trophy recipient…Earned Peru its first-ever Olympic sailing place through qualification at the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Championships (24th-place finish)…Finished third at the 2014 Laser Standard Men’s Under-21 World Championship.