By Chris Burton. Last Updated: June 14, 2012 10:46am
Nick Dempsey's preparations for the 2012 Olympics may have seen him riding the crest of a wave - literally - but Great Britain's top windsurfer fears for the future of his chosen profession.
He has already expressed his disappointment at the decision to pull windsurfing from the Games after 2012, with kiteboarding set to earn a promotion onto the biggest of sporting stages.
Dempsey may, understandably, disagree with the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) ruling, but he accepts that now is not the time to be dragged into an argument.
With the London Games looming large on the horizon, this summer is all about focus and giving yourself the best possible chance of securing a gold medal on home soil - or water in his case.
Dempsey refuses to believe that the death knoll has sounded for windsurfing and is confident that an iconic event will return to the fore in the future.
He told Sky Sports: "It's put a bit more emphasis on performing this time. If there wasn't enough already, it's just that extra bit of something. We will then worry about the decision after the Games.
"To have done this four times is something I am proud of, but it's not quite complete without a gold medal. I just have to try and finish it off."
Nick Dempsey Quotes of the week
"The decision can be overturned in November, and I think there is a reasonable chance of that happening. If it doesn't, the chances of it coming back in for the next Olympics would be very high. I don't think all will be lost."
Dempsey, at the age of 32, is readying himself for a fourth shot at Olympic glory - and he is determined to clamber onto the top of the podium this time around after previously picking up bronze in Athens eight years ago.
He added: "No gold medal as yet. I feel that things have gone very well so far and my progress is looking good. Hopefully everything will come together on time and I will be looking good in six weeks' time.
"Four Olympic Games is pretty cool. I would like to have had more medals but, nevertheless, it's been an amazing experience so far and something that has given me an amazing life. To have done this four times is something I am proud of, but it's not quite complete without a gold medal. I just have to try and finish it off."
While Dempsey is hoping he will not be put in a position of having to choose which direction to take in his sporting career, he concedes that he may face something of a quandary once the 2012 Games are over.
A switch to kiteboarding has been mooted, as has a shot at mixed catamaran alongside his wife Sarah (an Olympic gold medallist herself).
"There is never going to be anything better than getting a gold medal at a home Olympics. "
Nick Dempsey Quotes of the week
He said: "I am pretty sure that I have made my decision as to what I am doing after the Games. I won't say what they are until that's finished. I have a few options. That would be, the mixed set, would be a risky one.
"It's the nature of life, though, isn't it? Things change, but then new challenges arrive. Those challenges can be daunting and you can think 'how am I ever going to get to the stage where I'm at now?' But you do, and you do rise to the challenge. A lot of things are possible and I'm excited about the future."
For now, though, Dempsey is fully focused on London - or Weymouth to be precise - and what could be his last shot at windsurfing glory, with a second-placed finish at the recent test event suggesting he is in decent shape.
He said: "The test event? I wasn't keeping anything back, I was just beaten. That's the nature of sport sometimes, you make a few mistakes. I will be looking to put that right this time around and it will be whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win.
"There is never going to be anything better than getting a gold medal at a home Olympics. It's very much possible and it's just about staying healthy, staying injury-free, and finishing off by being ready."
SSE is a supporter of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy helping them to generate 20% of their energy through renewable sources by this Summer. For more information on making your home greener visit www.sse.co.uk/beinggreen
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