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Charlie Ogletree

Sailing

Picture

Class: Tornado
Position: Crew
Birthdate: Oct. 11, 1967
Birthplace: Greenville, N.C.
Hometown: Kemah, Texas
High School: Tabor Academy
College: Old Dominion University (Graduated 1989)
US Sailing Team Alphagraphics: 1994-2008
Member of: Newport Harbor Yacht Club/Houston Yacht Club
Occupation: Sailmaker
Sailing Since Age: 6

Personal:
Tornado crew Charlie Ogletree and skipper John Lovell are the only sailors on the 2008 U.S. Team competing in their fourth consecutive Olympic Regatta. But for Ogletree, his longstanding career in the Olympic arena was - at one time in his life - not part of his game plan.

After a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Trials in the 470 class for the '92 Games, Ogletree moved on - to focus on his career as a sailmaker and racing keelboats. But Lovell, who crewed for him on the keelboat, had another direction in mind, and he repeatedly asked Ogletree to crew onboard his Tornado.

"I was hesitant at first," said Ogletree. "I was successful at what I was doing and not ready to make a change."

Lovell's persistence prevailed, and Ogletree headed south for the 1993 US SAILING Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta (OCR), which they won. A few months later, the duo faced stiff competition at the Tornado Nationals, which they again won by a mere quarter point. Ogletree's view of another Olympic campaign began to shift. "Maybe," he remembered thinking after those two events, "we are a pretty good team."

Ogletree now has three Olympic regattas to his credit, a silver medal won with Lovell at the 2004 Games, and a thirst for more Olympic hardware. "Now that I have won one [Olympic medal]," he said, "more than anything, I want to win another."

Ogletree's first exposure to sailing was at age 6, onboard a Sunfish. Summer camp sailing followed before he headed to New England's Tabor Academy, a boarding school known for its sailing program. More competitive sailing followed at Old Dominion University, and he was named All-American in his senior year.

Over the 15 years Ogletree and Lovell have campaigned together, the sailing has remained more constant than the shape of their lives. "We spend a lot more time in the gym now, compared to when we were 25-years-old," Ogletree attests. Both married now, they juggle family life and careers with the demands of being Olympians. 

Beyond the tests they face on the water, the on-land challenges are as demanding as running a small company, including fundraising to meet their budget, reaching out to sponsors and supporters, and managing the logistics of getting themselves and their boat and equipment around the world for world-class contests.

But when Ogletree recalls the highlights of winning a silver medal in Athens, he admits that stepping up to the medal podium has a funny way of erasing the memory of the many challenges Olympians face. "Winning a medal," he says, "takes all those challenges away."

SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Intercollegiate All-American (1989)
  • 2004 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Captain
  • Silver medal, 2004 Olympic Games (Tornado)

SAILING RESUME

2007

  • 1st U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Sailing/San Diego, California
  • 10th US SAILING's Miami Rolex OCR/Miami, Florida
  • 10th ISAF Sailing World Championships/Cascais, Portugal

2006

  • 1st US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR
  • 1st US Tornado National Championship/San Diego, California
  • 1st US SAILING Pre-Trials/San Diego, California
  • 2nd Tornado North American Championship/Miami, Florida
  • 4th The Good Luck Beijing - 2006 Qingdao International Regatta/Qingdao, China

2005

  • 1st US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR
  • 2nd Hobie 33 North American Championship (tactician)
  • 6th Tornado European Championship/Vastervik, Sweden
  • 8th Tornado World Championship/La Rochelle, France

2004

  • 1st HRH Princess Sofia Trophy/Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • 1st Tornado North American Championship/Miami, Fla.
  • 1st HRH Princess Sofia Trophy/Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • 2nd Olympic Regatta/Athens, Greece
  • 2nd Semaine Olympique Française de Voile/Hyères, France
  • 2nd Tornado World Championship/Palma de Mallorca, Spain