Laser Radial Sailor Roller Makes St. John Proud at London Olympic Games

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St. John sailor Mayumi Roller, second from right, with her fellow U.S. Virgin Islands Olympians during the Parade of Nations at the London Games’ opening ceremony on Friday evening, July 27.

St. John Olympic athlete Mayumi “Mimi” Roller wrapped up her Laser Radial competition in Weymouth, England on Saturday, August 4, finishing 40th overall in the 41 boat fleet.

The St. John Laser Radial sailor raced a total of 10 races in the Games of the XXX Olympiad, completing two per day, on Monday, July 30,  Tuesday, July 31, Wednesday, August 1, Friday, August 3, and Saturday, August 4.

The pride of Coral Bay and the non-profit youth sailing program Kids and the Sea, St. John, where Roller first learned to sail, held her own against the top Laser Radial sailors in the world on a tough course in mostly high winds and choppy seas.

Out of the 41 boat fleet, Roller’s best finish came on the second race of Wednesday, August 1, Race #6, when she finished in 22nd place. She also finished 35th in Race #7 on August 3 and in Race #9 on August 4, and then either 40th or 41st in all of the other races.

Keeping her fans on Facebook updated on her experience, Roller shared pictures from the opening ceremony,  where she walked in the Parade of Nations with the seven member U.S. Virgin Islands Olympic Team and even  snapped pictures with U.S. Men’s Basketball team members LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Mimi Roller with TEAM USA Basketball Stars Kobe Bryant, below, and LeBron James, above.

After a tough first day of competition, Roller showed she had a great attitude and truly gave it her all at the Olympic Games.

“Pretty rough first day on the water,” she wrote on Facebook on Monday, July 30. “Didn’t do as well as I had hoped. The fleet is really tough and the conditions weren’t exactly my favorite, being pretty windy, with really choppy waves.”

“But I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and giving it my all again,” wrote Roller. “We’ll be sailing on a different course tomorrow, so it’ll be interesting to see how the conditions change.

After putting up her best finish on day three of racing, Roller shared her excitement with supporters.

“Days 2 and 3 were also really tough; but the second race of day two was substantially better,” wrote the St. John Olympic athlete. “Although I did end up getting a yellow flag, so that brought me back a few places. Yesterday was a rest day, which I spent with my parents doing some sightseeing.”

“Excited for another day of racing today, and hoping to get some more better results,” Roller wrote on Facebook.
Before heading out on the water on her final day of racing on August 4, Roller took time to reflect on her Olympic experience.

“Yesterday I had a little bit of a better result in race 1,” wrote Roller. “The conditions yesterday were still hiking conditions, but a little bit lighter than some of the first days, so that was really nice. But the four upwind legs per race did get a bit tiring.”

“Today is the last day of racing,” wrote the Laser Radial sailor. “Two more races today! The last day of racing! I can’t believe it’s almost over.”

After 10 races, the top 10 finishers in the fleet advance to the medal races, where points are doubled, on Monday, August 6. Roller finished 40th overall with 335 points.

The top of the Women’s Laser Radial fleet was super close after the 10 races, with only one point separating four sailors.
China’s Xu Lijia and Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands were tied with 33 points each, followed by Ireland’s Annalise Murphy and Evi van Acker of Belgium, who were tied with 34 points each.

Alison Young, from Great Britain, with 54 points, is also still vying for a medal to win in front of the home fans.

Roller’s U.S. Virgin Islands Olympic teammate Cy Thompson of St. Thomas also wrapped up his Olympics on August 4.

The Men’s Laser sailor finished in an impressive 25th place with 203 points in the fleet of 49 boats.

Tom Slingsy of Australia was at the top of the Men’s Laser fleet with 25 points, followed by Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus with 39 points. The top 10 men finishers after 10 races were also set to sail in medal races on August 6.

The 2012 U.S. Virgin Islands Olympic Team consisted of Roller; Thompson; 100 meter freestyle swimmer Branden Whitehurst; long jumper Muhammad Halim; 400 meter runner Tabarie Henry, the first U.S. Virgin Islander to qualify for the semifinals in the event;100 meter and 200 meter runner Laverne Jones-Ferrette, the first female from the territory to advance to the semifinals in the 100 meter; and Allison Peter, who also runs both the 100 meter and 200 meter races.

Congratulations to all of the athletes!