Robert Scheidt (born April 15, 1973) is a Brazilian sailor, who has won two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games and a Star Sailors League Final. He is one of the most successful sailors at Olympic Games and one of the most successful Brazilian Olympic athletes, being the only one with five medals along with fellow sailor Torben Grael.
Scheidt in 2004
15 April 1973 |
São Paulo, São Paulo
Scheidt was born in São Paulo to Fritz Scheidt and Karin Kreuger Scheidt. His father gave him his first boat when he was nine, and Robert began practising in the Guarapiranga dam. With the help of Dudu Melchert, his coach, he began winning several competitions.
At the age of 11, Scheidt became the South American Champion in the Optimist Class, in Algarrobo, Chile, in 1985 and again in 1986. Because of his wins, he was chosen to represent Brazil in the Optimist World Championship in 1986. This was the turning point of his career and made him decide to quit tennis and focus on sailing.
Because his weight and height exceeded the Optimist recommendations, he began sailing in the Snipe Class, and was second at the 1989 Brazilian Snipe Junior Championship, and champion in 1990, 1991 and 1992. In 1990, he also began sailing in the Lasers and became Brazilian junior champion and was called to represent Brazil in the Junior World Championships, held in Netherlands. Following this championship, he trained in Denmark and Sweden and participated for the first time in the Kiel Week (Kieler Woche). In 1991, he sailed a good and consistent regatta, won 10 out of the 11 races, and became Laser Junior World Champion, in Scotland.
In 1995, he won the gold medal in the Pan American Games in Mar del Plata, and his first World Championship. In the following year, he graduated at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Business Administration. In this year, 1996, his greatest achievement: after a thrilling and controversial duel with Ben Ainslie (19, UK), he took the Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta, in the Laser Class. He also won in 1996 the World Championship, held in Cape Town, South Africa and again in 1997, in Algarrobo, Chile.
In 1999, he won the Gold Medal in the Pan American Games, in Winnipeg, Canada on Lake Winnipeg, ahead of Mark Mendelblatt of the U.S. and Diego Romero of Argentina. In 2000, after his fourth World Title, in Cancún, Mexico, there were high expectations that he would win gold in the Olympic Games, in Sydney. But along with the rest of the Brazilian delegation, he failed to win the medal and, after an amazing and controversial battle with Ben Ainslie, from Great Britain, he took home the Silver Medal. His fifth world title came in 2001, in Cork, Ireland and his sixth in 2002, in Cape Cod, United States.
In 2003, he became for the third time Pan American Games Champion, with the gold in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 2004, he won the Gold Medal in the Laser Class in Athens, Ainslie having moved up a weight division to the Finn Class, and won his 6th World Title in Bitez, Turkey, ahead of Mark Mendelblatt.
In March 2005, he was ranked 1st in the world in the Laser, ahead of Paul Goodison of Great Britain, Michael Blackburn of Australia, and Mark Mendelblatt of the U.S. His last World Title came in 2005, when he was proclaimed champion in his birth country for the first time, in Fortaleza, Brazil.
After this win, he decided to leave the Laser class and to focus in the two-person racing keelboat Star Class, along with Bruno Prada. In June 2006, he and Prada won the silver medal at the 2006 Kiel Week in Germany, behind Mark Mendelblatt and crewman Mark Strube. In August 2006, he and Prada won a silver medal at the Star European Championship against 93 boats in Neustadt, Germany, again behind Mendelblatt and Strube.
He won nine titles since 2003, including the World Title in 2007, in Portugal and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. With this podium he also became the first Brazilian athlete to win a medal in four consecutive Olympic Games. His four medals put him, along with swimmer Gustavo Borges, behind only sailor Torben Grael as the Brazilian with most Olympic medals. He was appointed as the Brazilian flag bearer at the Beijing Olympic Games.
In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Scheidt won his fifth Olympic medal, a bronze at the Star. He tied Grael's record and also became the first Brazilian to win medals in five Olympics, though he wished to win the gold given that would be the last Olympics for the Star Class. To ensure another participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Scheidt returned to the Laser.
Robert Scheidt has already won 125 titles until May, 2006, including 68 in Brazil and 57 abroad. His main achievements are:
- Star Class:
- Olympic Games: Silver in Beijing, 2008 and Bronze in London, 2012
- World Championship:
- 2007, 2011 (Perth, Australia), 2012 (Hyeres, France)
- Star Sailors League Finals
- 2013 (Nassau, Bahamas)
- South American Championship:
- Brazilian Championship:
- Laser Class
- Olympic Games:
- Gold in Atlanta, 1996 and in Athens, 2004
- Silver in Sydney, 2000
- World Championships:
- Tenerife, Spain, 1995
- Cape Town, South Africa, 1996
- Algarrobo, Chile, 1997
- Cancún, Mexico, 2000
- Cork, Ireland, 2001
- Cape Cod, USA, 2002
- Bitez, Turkey, 2004
- Fortaleza, Brazil, 2005
- Muscat, Oman, 2013
- World ISAF Games:
- Marseille, France, 1997
- World Junior Championship:
- Scotland, 1991
- Pan American Games:
- Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1995
- Winnipeg, Canada, 1999
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2003
- Europe Cup:
- 1993, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005
- South American Championships:
- 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2004
- Brazilian Championships:
- 1987 (junior), 1991 (junior), 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
- Kiel Week:
- 1999, 2000, 2004
- Spa Week:
- 1998, 2002
- Olympic Games:
- Optimist Class:
- South American Championship (youth):
- 1985, 1986
- South American Championship (youth):
- "Robert Scheidt". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
- Medal finder – Sailing
- Medal Finder – Brazil
- For My Family, For My Friends: An Interview with Robert Scheidt
- Doran Cushing (August 4, 1999). "Mendelblatt sails closer to goal of reaching top level Series". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- "Mark Mendelblatt". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- "ISAF: World Sailing Rankings; Single-handed dinghy men – Laser". Sailing.org. March 4, 2005. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Marni Lane (August 14, 2006). "US Sailing's Mendelblatt & Strubb win gold medal at Star European Championship". bymnews.com. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Andreas Kling (August 13, 2006). "Germany. Rolex Baltic Week: No wind, no racing, championship decided after much controversy". bymnews.com. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Hirshfield, Adam (August 15, 2006). "Dalhausser and Rogers spike their way to U.S. Athlete of the Week honors". USA Today. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Dave Ellis (August 23, 2006). "Area sailors snare more hardware". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Flag bearer sailors look forward to the Olympic opening ceremony
- Star Teams at the Delta Lloyd Regatta – An Overview