Fourteen athletes supported by the IOC's Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Programme are competing in the sailing events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
The sailors who have benefited from the Scholarship Programme on their course to Qingdao are: Nico DELLE - KARTH
and Nikolaus RESCH
(AUT) in the 49er; Ricardo SANTOS
(BRA) and Ertugrul ICINGIR
(TUR) in the Men's RS:X; Sime FANTELA
and Igor MARENIC
(CRO) in the Men's 470, Haris PAPADOPOULOS
(CYP), Kevin LIM
(MAS), Maciej GRABOWSKI
(POL), Allan JULIE
(SEY), Kemal MUSLUBAS
(TUR) and Alejandro FOGLIA
(URU) in the Laser; Liying TOH
(SIN) in the Women's 470; and Gasper VINCEC
(SLO) in the Finn
"It is an honour and a motivator. It has been helpful in covering my living expenses,"
said Laser sailor MUSLUBAS of the scholarship.
MARENIC said, "I think people have confidence as well as hope in us and I think that is what made a huge difference in us receiving the scholarship."
"When I first received the scholarship, it was psychological boost. It was a boost because someone really believed in me. It's not a lot of money compared to the amount of money that I spend on sailing every year, but every bit helps,"
"This will give me an extra push for my motivation,"
said VINCEC, who's in fifth place after having sailed seven of the 10 races in the Opening Series in the Finn. "I am honoured that Olympic Solidarity has put me on the list of athletes who have had a chance for one of the medals."
Twenty sailors received Scholarships to help them qualify and prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Of those 20, 14 realised the first stage of their Olympic dream by qualifying for a place in Athens.
The funding for the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Programme comes from the from the share of Olympic Games television rights revenue allocated to the National Olympic Committees (NOC) and is managed by the Olympic Solidarity Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Find out more on Olympic Solidarity in our 'Behind the Scenes' section.