Bithell hoping to showcase popularity of sailing with new documentary

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Stuart Bithell hopes that the documentary Chasing Tokyo will showcase that sailing can be for everyone.
Stuart Bithell hopes that the documentary Chasing Tokyo will showcase that sailing can be for everyone.

By Megan Armitage, Sportsbeat

Olympic Champion Stuart Bithell hopes British Sailing's new documentary 'Chasing Tokyo' will highlight that sailing is for anyone and everyone.

The Rochdale-born sailor won gold with Dylan Fletcher at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and relived his memories on the big screen as part of a documentary following the journey of British Sailing in the lead up to the Games.

Reflecting on a journey of trails and tribulations, 'Chasing Tokyo' will debut on the Olympic Channel on July 28th and Bithell's story is just one of many followed, alongside Tokyo gold medallist Eilidh McIntyre, London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and Olympian Tom Squires.

He said: "Hopefully people will watch the documentary and younger people hopefully will be inspired by the kind of ordinary people.

"We just have a massive passion for sailing and we all came from different areas and got into the sport in different ways and there's different ways to get involved.

Chasing Tokyo Premiere event
Chasing Tokyo Premiere event

"You combine that with a bit of support and a bit of talent and you know, anyone can be an Olympic Champion."

With his story heavily featured in the documentary, Bithell's family and girlfriend are featured celebrating his win and telling his story from home as part of production company Orillo's focus on the personal aspects of sailing.

And the Olympic Champion was thrilled to see the support he received from home after being immersed in the Tokyo environment.

He said: "It was really nice, you see on the documentary that when you're out in Tokyo you're just focused on the job, you're there to do a thing and there's not too many distractions you want to allow to bring in.

"So you're not really aware of what's happening back home and it's really nice to get to see my girlfriend, her family and my family up in Rochdale watching it, living and beathing every emotion that I was living.

"It's a reminder of how it’s not just mine and Dylan's campaign it's a whole family campaign."

Already an Olympic silver medallist from the London 2012 Games alongside Patience, Bithell went one step further in Tokyo and is one of the success stories of the film.

Whether you're a sailing fan or just love a story of raw emotion and drive, 'Chasing Tokyo' captures the spirit of the British Olympic Sailing team and the struggles they encountered on the way to becoming the most successful sailing team in the world.

Bithell said: "[The film's] pretty cool, it's an occasion I was looking forward to.

"I'm not going to lie I wasn't quite sure that it was only going to focus on certain individuals, I thought it was a whole team thing and I was a little bit surprised to see myself in it so much.

"But I think there's some really cool stories in there on the guys they featured and it was really inspiring and nice to bring back some memories.

"There's two main things to reflect on, one the main thing is winning the gold medal which was absolutely incredible and then the other one is how insane it was in lockdown and Covid times.

"It feels like an eternity away now but it was just before the Olympics, it was right in the middle of preparation and it was a really tricky time so it was a reminder of how tough we had it really.

"But obviously I finished off with a nice shiny gold medal so it was all worth it."

Watch Chasing Tokyo at [Olympics.com]Olympics.com

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