PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The daughter of former Democratic presidential candidate and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has been selected to represent the United States in Olympic sailing.
Louisa Chafee will be the crew on a two-person team with skipper Bora Gulari, of Detroit, in the Nacra 17 catamaran class. The 24-year-old Chafee was a three-time All-American at Brown University.
Chafee learned to sail as a young child, but she gave it up because she kept getting sunburned, she said. She went back on the water the summer after high school, when she was looking for an activity and her mother, Stephanie, suggested she might try her hand at sailing again.
She enjoyed it, and later got in touch with the Brown sailing coach, who invited her to practice.
"I got there and never left," she said.
Knowing she will represent the United States at the Olympics is "an incredible feeling. It's indescribable."
Chafee said Thursday that her father is thrilled and will be in Rio de Janeiro to cheer her on.
Chafee said she was not concerned about the severe pollution in Rio's waterways where she and about 1,600 other athletes will compete. An Associated Press investigation last year showed astronomically high virus levels in those waters.
"Our team medical staff has been closely watching the situation. I'm just focused on training right now and bringing home a medal to the United States, getting the necessary shots and just going to go sailing," she said. "I have faith that the U.S. team is going to be looking out for us. That's why I feel confident that I can just focus on my training and focus on the sailing."
Lincoln Chafee was elected governor as an independent in 2010 after serving as a Republican U.S. senator. He did not run for a second term. He ran for the Democratic nomination for president last year but dropped out of the race in October after failing to gain traction.