• York Rotary

Watching Hannah's Progress in Tokyo

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Eileen writes.... Every President of York Rotary has the sometimes unenviable task of asking a special person to be the Guest of Honour at the formal President’s Dinner. In March 2017, I invited Ewen Cameron’s Granddaughter, Hannah Mills, to be our Guest - and what a special evening it turned out to be. She told an inspiring and riveting story of her sailing triumphs, with her partner Saskia Clark, winning the Silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and Gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. We were in awe of the hard work, dedication and total concentration required to achieve such heights. Hannah is calm, modest and not perhaps what one would expect of such a successful competitor.

Proud Grandfather Ewen (on left of picture) was a much respected Rotarian, being our Past President 1996, the 1040 District Governor 2002-3 and a Paul Harris Fellow; his pride in Hannah was evident and I was pleased that he and Sylvia joined us at the top table and posed for photographs with the Civic Party. But, so much for history!

Hannah is currently in Tokyo, preparing to defend her title in the Two-handed Women’s 470 Sailing Class.

Her experience as a competitor (she is one of the “oldest”) and her strong sense of team values led to her being chosen as the flag bearer for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony - an honour she describes as the greatest of her career - and one which would have made Ewen even more proud.

Hannah’s new partner is Eilidh McIntyre and they are ready and focused, having endured the longer than usual build-up to the Games. Hannah is described as good under pressure and able to fight back from setbacks; it is hoped that her experience will win through stiff competition, especially from the Dutch and Italian teams. She is determined to get the basics right and maintain mental strength to gain the upper hand, especially in the searing heat and choppy waters of Tokyo Bay.

I have emailed Hannah to wish her GOOD LUCK. Let’s hope that experience counts!

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