'It is a dream come true:' Fort Lauderdale sailor achieves Olympic goal

Erika Reineke will represent Team USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics
Posted at 10:12 AM, Jun 25, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Erika Reineke, a hometown girl, is gearing up to represent the United States in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Her career is defined by passion, determination and perseverance.

From her early days navigating the waters, she first set sail in Fort Lauderdale at the Lauderdale Yacht Club when she was eight years old.

"[My parents] saw these little prims out in the water on Friday nights when they came to hang out and have social hour at the yacht club and I would just go sailing with my friends on the water," she said.

She didn't commit to sailing full time until the age of 12 and quickly wanted to achieve the goal of the Olympics.


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Through high school, Reineke was very accomplished in the ILCA 6 boat where she qualified to represent the United States in Youth Worlds in Turkey. Her collegiate years at Boston College further polished her skills, where she earned the esteemed title of four-time All-American sailor.

This is where she learned how to be a teammate and leader. She is the first person at Boston College to win four Singlehanded National Championships. In addition to being an All-American, she won four Women’s MVP Awards and a Leadership Award from the Athletic Department.

On the international stage, Reineke represented the United States in numerous prestigious events, most recently the Pan-American Games where she had her first taste of what it would be like on the Olympic stage. Each competition served as a stepping stone toward her ultimate goal: the Olympics. Along the journey, she received the most prestigious award, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in 2017.

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Erika Reineke (right) tells WPTV meteorologist Frances Peyton about what it means to achieve her Olympic dream.

WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Frances Peyton caught up with Erika and her sister, Sophie Reineke, who is also an accomplished sailor.

"Watching her be happy and watching her cry, just being there for her through it all and having it come to this it is a dream come true, not only for her, but I think our whole family," said Sophie. "Our coach, Boston College, our yacht club, for everyone. I couldn’t be more proud.”

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Erika Reineke (left) and her sister Sophie.

Now, as she prepares for the Paris Olympics, Reineke remains unwavering in her dedication.

“I think the toughest thing to manage right now are the time in the water and the time in the gym," she said.

In the meantime, she will be in Europe racing and training leading up to the games. Her Olympic races will begin on Aug. 1.