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Ben Ainslie retires from Olympic sailing

By This is Dorset  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

Ben Ainslie will not compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics

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Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has announced his retirement from Olympic sailing in order to concentrate on his America's Cup campaign.

The 35-year-old won his fourth Olympic gold medal at Weymouth and Portland this summer, but will not go for a fifth gold at Rio in 2016.

"Stepping away from the Olympics was not an easy decision to make and I wanted to take some time after London to think about the future and what the next challenge would be" said Ainslie.

"I've had an amazing Olympic sailing career and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless number of people who have been involved in my sailing career to date.

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"Their support enabled me to achieve my dreams and I could not have done it without them."

The America's Cup is the oldest sporting trophy, and the only international sporting trophy Great Britain has never won.

Started in 1851, the Cup will be contested for the 35th time next September - with the Golden Gate Yacht Club defending their title in San Francisco.

Ainslie will establish his own team - JP Morgan Ben Ainslie Racing.

Stephen Park, Royal Yachting Association Olympic Manager, said: "From our side, the door is always open for Ben to return if he feels that gold in Rio is a viable prospect, but we wish him every success with JP Morgan Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) and his uncompromised focus on an America's Cup-winning campaign.

"I know we will continue to keep in close contact with Ben, who is keen to help and support the Olympic programme and talented youngsters coming through in whatever way he can."

Take a look at our photos from Weymouth Beach celebrating Ben Ainslie's Olympic gold.

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