Every time the Olympics roll around, I know a lot of race fans wonder what it would be like if motorsport was included in the games in some way. But this year, they’ll at least be able to root for a NASCAR Xfinity crew member competing in a different sport.
Tyler Paige, an employee at JR Motorsports, is competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He’s competing in double-handed sailing under the American Samoa flag.
Paige is currently an engineering intern at JR Motorsports, but he’s hoping to take on a full-time position when he returns from Tokyo. Which is honestly kind of awesome, because if I were in his shoes, I’d want to get the most out of my sailing career as I could.
Basically, double-handed sailing is the act of sailing with two crew members on board, in contrast to single-handed sailing, which can also be called solo sailing. That means Paige is competing on a crew, which can only be a boon to his dreams of working on a race team.
Paige isn’t the only motorsport-adjacent person to have Olympic dreams. Sir Jackie Stewart, three-time Formula One World Champion, was hoping to attend the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome as part of a four-man British clay pigeon shooting team. He only barely missed out on making the cut, which Stewart has referred to as the biggest sporting disappointment in his career.
Divina Galica, one of the five women to race in Formula One, actually competed in four Winter Olympics as a skier. Her first event was in 1964, when she was 19. She captained the British team during the next two Games. She never won, but she finished in the top-10 in the Giant Slalom, and she had plenty of other successes: two World Cup podium finishes and the holding of the British women’s downhill skiing record.