Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hero’s welcome for Nick Scandone

Balboa Yacht Club Welcomes Home International Sailing Hero
By Lynn Fitzpatrick

Orange County, CA, September 18 – United Airlines delivered precious cargo to Orange County's John Wayne Airport this afternoon. Over 100 Balboa Yacht Club members, friends and family welcomed home Paralympic Gold Medallist, Nick Scandone; his wife, Mary Kate; his loyal friend and coach, Mike Pinckney and his devoted brother, Vince (Rock).

The elevator door to the baggage claim area opened and Nick Scandone was met with cheers, smiles, banners, balloons, American flags and flashes from lots of cameras. Many of the crowd wore BYC T-shirts emblazoned with the navy and orange Balboa Yacht Club burgee and the saying "Way to Go Nick" on the front and a wire drawing of a SKUD 18 with "Scandone & McKinnon-Tucker, US Olympic Gold Medal across the back.

It's a long flight from Beijing to LA and a short hop from LA to Orange County and no matter what your health, it takes it toll on you. The exhausted Gold Medal SKUD 18 crew got an energy boost from all of their fans and showed off the Gold and Jade Medal to all.

Scandone and his story were such a hit in Qingdao and Beijing that the award's decorative ribbon is getting a little tattered. Nick, who has held the Medal up for countless snapshots abroad, was more than happy to show it off on home soil.

Nick is a hero, a champion sailor, a wonderful human being, a devoted husband, an appreciative brother, a great friend, a thankful athlete and a focused team player who has given all of us inspiration. In a weak voice, Nick said, "It's been a real team effort. I thank everybody for all of their support."

Welcome home Nick!

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At 6:31 PM, Blogger Peter Huston said...

Nick Scandone - 2008 Yachtsman of the Year.

Class of 2008 Sailing World Hall of Fame.

A great friend.

At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Peter Wilson said...

Nick is truly an amazing individual and a role model for us all. I never once heard him complain about his ALS, but instead there is always a smile and a willingness to talk about the most recent race, share ideas, and focus on everyone doing better. Nick is clearly competitive, but in a wonderful way that makes it a pleasure to sail against him, win or lose.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Lynn Fitzpatrick said...

I know that some were talking about nominating Nick for Yachtsman of the Year, but if you saw the committment and devotion of the entire squad of friends, family and assistants in Qingdao and at Balboa Yacht Club, you'd understand that they should all be nominated for Team of the Year. Nick led the charge and Mary Kate, Mike, Rock, Maureen, Betsy, Marko, Sarah .... the list goes on, anticipated and took care of his every need in Qingdao. It was truly a team effort. Let's keep him relaxed yet busy. Nick will always be a goal-oriented person ... the goals just may not be as daunting as a four-year quest for the Gold going forward.



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