Surrounded by an ocean-themed atmosphere on Saturday night, OMEGA hosted "A Night of Sailing and Samba" at OMEGA House in Rio de Janeiro. Joining the celebrations were friends of the brand including Brazilian sailing legend Torben Grael, his gold medal winning daughter Martine Grael and her sailing partner Kahena Kunze.
OMEGA is very much involved with sailing thanks to its long partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand. The association began in 1995 alongside the iconic sailor Sir Peter Blake. As the Kiwi team continue their pursuit of the 35th America’s Cup, now is a particularly relevant time to celebrate the sport.
Two of Emirates Team New Zealand sailors were also at OMEGA House for the evening. Blair Tuke and Peter Burling, who won gold in the men’s 49er skiff event in Rio, spoke very fondly of their Olympic Games victory. Burling said “We were proud of what we achieved in London when we walked away with a silver medal. We were young back then and we learned a lot. So the goal this time was to take the gold. We’ve put everything into it over the past four years and we’re feeling super proud of our win.”
Torben Grael, a renowned Brazilian sailor who has won five Olympic Games medals for Brazil spoke to guests about Rio’s success as the host of the prestigious sporting event. “The overall feeling I have is that everyone has loved the atmosphere. It’s very different to other places. There’s a lot of warmth from our hearts. I think everyone who was here will have very good memories of Rio.”
Torben’s Olympian daughter Martine Grael also spoke on stage during the evening. In thrilling circumstances for the host nation, she took home a gold medal with her sailing partner Kahena Kunze in the 49er FX event. Together, they spoke very proudly of the moment they knew they had won. Martina said, “The whole experience was unforgettable. It was so emotional at the time we just had to pull ourselves together a little bit.”
The wave of sailing athletes at OMEGA House did not stop there. Argentine sailor Santiago Lange, who lost part of a lung to cancer last year, teamed up with Cecilia Carranza Saroli to win gold in Rio 2016. They also stood on stage along with New Zealand sailor and silver medal winner Alexandra Maloney and Irish sailor and silver medal winner Annalise Murphy.
As the Official Timekeeper of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, OMEGA has been celebrating the prestigious sporting occasion by hosting many unmissable events throughout August, from the Opening Night with Eddie Redmayne to the “Swimming Legends” night with Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos. Along the way, there have been a number of famous faces spotted amongst the crowds including many athletes and well-known faces.
President and CEO of OMEGA, Raynald Aeschlimann, spoke about his love of OMEGA House as well as the enjoyment he has experienced during Rio 2016. “Tonight caps off such a fun-filled and memorable time here in Rio. We are very close to sailing and we have had such an amazing time here in Brazil. Tonight we will really enjoy the party and look back very happily on the past several weeks.”
Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim on Ipanema Beach has been transformed for the Olympic Games. As OMEGA departs, this vibrant space will be returned to the community with a renovated interior and fresh lease of life. It has certainly been an excellent and exciting place to be during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
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