“Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.” Wise words from Olympian Evi Van Acker.
The 30-year-old Belgian sailor got her start with an Optimist dinghy at the age of 6. She claimed her first championship in 1998 at age 13 as European champion of the Optimist class.
Champion is a word people often use to describe Van Acker. She has been the European champion with the Laser Radial three times — in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
This week she is traveling to Rio de Janeiro, where her Summer Olympics event will begin Aug. 8 and end a week later. This is Van Acker’s third Olympics. In 2012 she won bronze in London and stood at the podium with the Netherlands’ Marit Bouwmeester (silver) and China’s Lijia Xu (gold).
As usual, Van Acker is coming to the competition in a strong position: She is ranked second in the world, just behind longtime competitor Bouwmeester, who also will compete in Rio.