Marinalife Believes in Big Dreams
When Marinalife heard that an Olympic athlete was in our mix, our Annapolis headquarters beamed with pride that our contributing writer’s daughter had qualified for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team.
At only 5 feet 2 inches tall, Nikki Barnes had joined the ranks of towering figures who earned the right to compete and display their nautical skills among the best international athletes in the boating world.
While admiring her accomplishments so far, we also considered the road ahead of her. As an active-duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, Nikki and her family would juggle professional and financial challenges for her team to take part in the games. That’s when we jumped in to help them achieve their dreams.
Meet our Olympic Athletes, Nikki and Lara
LTJG Nikole ‘Nikki’ Barnes, Skipper: Nikki is a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Nikki has been permitted to train and compete as an active duty officer, a first for USCG athletics. She was the Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year in 2016 and received All-American honors in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Nikki has competed at the highest level of sailing for many years, with prominent and podium placings at events such as the Optimist and International 420 World, Continental and Country Championships. Notably, she earned a Bronze Medal in the then-named ISAF Youth World Championships in the 420, in Zadar, Croatia. Nikki was born and raised in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands where she learned to sail and continues to be a member of the St. Thomas Yacht Club and the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Lara Dallman-Weiss: Laura is a 2011 graduate of Eckerd College, where she was captain and a four-year member of the sailing team, including winning skipper and crew of the year honors for three years. Lara was a member of the US Sailing Development Team in the 470 class in 2013. In addition to her dinghy sailing, Lara is a North American champion in the Farr 40 class. She is also a member of the White Bear Lake Yacht Club New York Yacht Club.
Follow their Journey to the 2021 Olympics
During the next few months leading up to the 2021 games, Marinalife will run a three-part series about Nikki and Lara’s journey from their homes and training facilities to their Olympic sailing races in Japan.
Support the Team: Marinalife also teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard Alumni Association who established the Elite Athlete Fund for Nikki and Lara. If you would like to contribute to these remarkable athletes’ Olympic pursuits, please go to cgaalumni.org/Marinalife today.
Follow Marinalife on Facebook for the latest on their journey!