London 2012

Ainslie: The pressure's on

Sailing has a responsibility to maintain Olympics legacy

Last Updated: 18/04/12 8:23am

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Ben Ainslie admits the hype surrounding a home Olympics will be difficult to escape for Britain's sailors.

The 35-year-old from Macclesfield has won gold in the last three Olympics, as well as a silver in 1996, but he recognises that the London Games will be like nothing he has ever experienced before.

Asked what victory on home waters would be like, Ainslie, a UPS ambassador, told Sky Sports: "It would be amazing, but it's something I don't think about too much to be honest. I don't want to get carried away, I'm just focusing on my preparations, getting that right."

Ainslie is relishing racing in front of home crowds in what may be his final Olympics but knows the pressure to succeed is also on him and his fellow British sailors.

He added: "For everybody, racing at home is a great opportunity. There will be a lot more attention on British athletes than at other Games so for sure the pressure comes with that and really that is something that everyone is going to have to deal with. Hopefully we can just focus on the event itself."

Sailing comes to national attention during an Olympics and Ainslie acceps that adds to the responsibilty he feels to his sport.

"Like every Olympics, it is a great opportunity for sailing," he said. "We have been very fortunate as a sport to be very successful in the last three or four Olympic cycles.

"We do find that there is a hype around the Olympics as there is for every sport every four years, then the hype dies away again.

"The trick for sailing is if we can be successful we need to capitalise on that. That really ties in with the whole legacy of these particular Olympics. Every sport has a responsibilty to get future generations involved and make the most of these fantastic facilities."

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