Smooth Sailing | Manama
Sami is an airline pilot, but the skies are not the only place he flies.
A former member of the Bahrain Olympic Sailing Team, who competed in the 2004 Olympics, Sami also flies across the water.
Sami comes from a family of sailors and got involved in the sport at a young age. Both of his parents were involved in the sport and his older brother is an established sailor as well.
“My first memories are on the beach at the sailing club, and I started sailing on my own at a young age,” Sami said.
Sami had been a member of the Bahrain National Sailing Team for four years leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games, and qualified to make the Bahraini Olympic Team a few weeks before the games.
Sami calls walking into the Olympic stadium representing Bahrain the proudest moment of his life.
“Representing your country at the Olympics means more than anything to every athlete who had the opportunity to compete at the games,” Sami said. “It is the largest sporting event you’ll ever be a part of. It’s a rare time when the whole world comes together and puts differences aside. It’s about celebrating humanity.”
Sailing also helped Sami decide on a career as an airline pilot.
“In some ways [flying and sailing] are very similar. Sailing taught me how to be dedicated and motivated, which I believe flying requires,” Sami said. “I also loved travelling when I was sailing full time, and now flying takes me all over the world to new exciting destinations. Flying planes is my career, but I still sail and race in my spare time. It’s great to be able to do both.”
Sami believes that being involved in sports at a young age helped teach him the skills he needed to not only excel on the water, but off the water as well. Now, he has advice for young athletes who also aspire to compete under the Olympic rings.
“Never give up and set your goals high,” Sami said. “It can, and will, be extremely tough at times, but if you have the talent and you apply the right dedication and training you will be amazed at what you can achieve, not only in your sport but in life.”