Paul Foerster dreamed of going to the Olympics as a boy, but soon realized he was probably not going to make it in basketball, as he had hoped, because of his height of 173 cm (5-8). Foerster started sailing when he began school at the University of Texas, and eventually received All-American honors three times from the ICYRA (later ICSA [Intercollegiate Sailing Association]). He would compete at four Olympics Games in sailing: 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004.
Foerster raced Flying Dutchman boats at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, winning a silver in Barcelona alongside Stephen Bourdow. He switched to 470 Class for his last two Olympics, winning silver with Bob Merrick in 2000 and a gold medal in 2004 with Kevin Burnham . Foerster was on US Sailing teams from 1986 to 2004. Through 2016, Foerster is one of only two US sailors to win three Olympic medals, with Mark Reynolds.
Foerster’s other sailing accomplishments include winning World Championships in Flying Dutchman in 1991 and 1992, winning a 1995 Pan American Games gold medal in J/24 class, and winning a bronze medal in 470 at the 2004 European Championships. He also won the Kiel Week regatta in 470s in 1998.
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