Luke Patience on Olympic 'retirement' ten years on from London silver medal

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Luke Patience poses for a photo after being selected for Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Luke Patience poses for a photo after being selected for Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience may have retired last year – but admits that dreaded ‘R’ word does not exist in his vocabulary writes Tum Balogun.

The 35-year-old called time on his career after seeing his event, the men’s 470 sailing, feature at its last Olympics in his third and final games.

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Patience, who said an emotional goodbye to the sport, revealed his future is not as certain as it seems, though he remains steadfast in his refusal to take part in Paris 2024 - for now at the very least.

He said: “I've stopped using the word retired because I'm not sure what it means - ‘I am not going to Paris’ is probably my new way of wording it.

“But I’m going to stop saying words like ‘never’ and ‘done’ because I’ve realised my desires and emotions can steer my inspiration.

“The reality is if I was inspired to do another, I’d do another.

“My gut will tell me whether to hang up the boots or not and my guts told me to hang up the boots for Paris.

“Right now my passion and gut isn’t telling me to push for Paris so I’m not going to.”

The Aberdeen-born star spoke ahead of the release of the behind the scenes documentary, 'Chasing Tokyo', which chronicles an unprecedented 18-month journey of a group of British Sailing Team athletes.

And Patience, who features prominently, detailed how he coped with the delay of the Games, adding: “It's kind of a mix of emotions because you’re in a position you’d never thought you'd be in.

“It's hard to try and decide whether the delays are a good or bad thing, I mean in the end you have no choice but to take it in your stride.

“One of the natural things as a sportsperson is you have to be opportunistic, you have to have agility and be opportunistic because not everything goes your way.

“Dealing with loss is a massive part of sport.

“It's crucial to being a sportsperson to be able to deal with loss and still believe in yourself and back yourself and do the next right thing.

“And so it’s kind of using that skill set during that time.

“There’s a good bit of perspective added into it [as well] because there’s a lot worse things happening in the world than a games being delayed.”

Chasing Tokyo is set to release on the Olympic Channel on July 28, marking a decade since the London Olympics where Patience and partner Stuart Bithell took home the silver medal.

“The further I get from it the more I smile about London,” he added.

“I recognise after all these years, and doing two more Olympics, I truly appreciate how special that was.

“It’s not just something that I am trying to replicate and for a while I was and then I realised how special and unique it all was.

“What luck to be the right age and be able to pursue London that hard.”