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Paralympian Profile

Rick Dodson #191

Richard Dodson, New Zealand Paralympian

America’s Cup sailor, and multiple World Champion Richard, also known as Rick Dodson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago. Richard was the onboard Strategist with Team New Zealand when they won the 1995 America’s Cup in San Diego, and again during the Team’s 2000 defense. It was during the defense campaign that he was diagnosed with MS. His world then took a dramatic turn, as he was no longer able to sail professionally once his condition deteriorated.

When the opportunity arose to compete in disabled sailing he took some persuasion. Despite his undoubted talent, Rick wasn’t convinced he could campaign to the high standards he had set in the past.

Rick and his crew mates Chris Sharp and Andrew May made their Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. They compete in the 3-person keelboat event (Sonar) placing 4th and missing the bronze medal by the narrowest of margins. The crew were part of the NZ Paralympic Team that won a stunning 21 medals across 12 medallists in 2016. The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).

Rick officially received his ‘numbered’ pin as part of The Celebration Project in Auckland in June 2019.

Paralympic Results
Paralympic GamesResult
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
  • 4th - Sonar Class


  • Hometown: Auckland

  • Born: 19 February 1959

  • Eligible Impairment: Loss of muscle power (Multiple Sclerosis)

  • Coach: Andrew Brown

  • Classification: Sport class 6C

  • Games Year: Rio 2016

  • Para Sport: Para sailing

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