On Deck: Terry Neilson

October 26, 2021

On Deck: Terry Neilson

Terry Neilson was inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 3, after winning a bronze medal in the Finn Class at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. “On Deck” conversation with the sailor from Ontario.

Congratulations for having been inducted this year into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame. How does it feel?
It feels nice to be included in such an exclusive group of sailors.

You won the bronze medal in the Finn class at the 1984 Olympic Games. How did you feel when you realized you had earned a podium result?
It was a little surreal and at the same time, a relief that the journey was over.

Except for the medal, what is your fondest memory from the 1984 Olympic Games?
My fondest memory was going to Catalina Island with some other Finn sailors on lay day.

What was your greatest challenge leading up to the 1984 Olympic Games?
My greatest challenge by far was qualifying because my main competitor for a spot at the Olympics was Larry (The Legend) Lemieux, who was a very, very talented and a top-ranked Finn sailor.

What did you do following your career as an international athlete?
I sailed professionally for about seven years and then I worked in the insurance industry.

What do you do now?
I have a software company in Toronto and a mining company in South America.

What do you think of today’s generation of high performance sailors in Canada?
I think it is harder now but with the right coaching and attitude, they can succeed.


  • Rolex
  • Helly Hansen
  • Gallagher Skippers' Plan
  • BMO Sail Canada MasterCard
  • Government of Canada