RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (WHDH) - A member of the United States Sailing team is Rio de Janeiro has a familiar last name to those in New England, though she chose sports over politics.


Louisa Chafee, 24, is the daughter of Lincoln Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island and 2016 presidential candidate. Her late grandfather, John Chafee, was also governor of Rhode Island and served in the Senate for more than 20 years.

Chafee was introduced to sailing as a child at the Saunderstown, Rhode Island yacht club. She said she did not like sailing at first, thinking she was not good at it. Later, during her gap year between high school and college, Chafee took up sailing again and was invited to join the team at Brown University.

While at Brown, Chafee was an All-American on the sailing team three times. She also got inspired to go out for the United States Olympic team. After her first skipper quit, Chafee found another before teaming up with Bora Gulari, her partner in the mixed Nacra 17 races.

Chafee called being in the Olympics “the greatest honor I could ever ask for” and is already thinking ahead to the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

“It’s an incrediblie honor,” said Chafee. “I love my state, I love my country so much. I think that what America stands for is incredible.”

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox