CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — No one is hoping a third time is a charm more than Paige Railey. The 29-year-old athlete from Clearwater is headed to Rio to compete on the U.S. Sailing Team.
“It’s not just an activity that I do it’s literally become a part of me,” said Railey whose determination is inspiring.
Railey tried out for the 2008 Olympics but didn’t qualify. In 2012, she gave it another try, qualifying alongside her older brother. “We went to the 2012 London games together which was an experience because we were the first brother sister to go for sailing.”
However it didn’t go as she hoped. “I got 8th, unfortunately I was a medal favorite going into it and I just didn’t perform as well as I should have,” said Paige.
She was determined to try again in 2016, but two years ago her dreams were put on hold.
“I just went to go on a cruise and fell off my bike and I landed on my face. I fractured my spine, exposed my tendons in my hands and had a brain injury. When I had the accident I wasn’t just worried about getting to the Olympics, I was worried about returning to normal,” said Paige who was told it would be six months before she would be able to get back on a boat.
But in a show of her determination, six weeks after the accident Paige was back on the water. “Sailing is what kept me motivated to get back.”
Paige is the ultimate demonstration of an Olympian, showing physical strength and mental toughness.
“All I can do is here and now. I can’t stress about what will happen in five seconds or what will happen when I cross that finish line. If I’m putting all the effort I can into right now then the result will come,” said Paige, who has trained and qualified to compete on 2016 U.S. Sailing team in Rio.