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In the Seoul Olympics, sailing competitions were under way at Pusan on September 24, 1988, with winds raging at 35 knots and playing havoc with the boats. Two sailors of the Singapore team, Joseph Chan and Shaw Her, were thrown overboard when their boat capsized.


Canada’s Lawrence Lemieux was sailing alone nearby in a separate event when he saw the sailors in distress. He rescued Chan, who was exhausted from struggling against the strong currents in his weighted sailing jacket. By the time Lemieux finished helping the Singapore team, he had fallen well behind in his race.


Judges awarded Lemieux second place—the position he was in when he went to the sailors’ aid—and the International Olympic Committee gave him a special award for his gallantry.


“It’s the first rule of sailing to help people in distress,” said Lemieux, downplaying the incident.

—Bud Greenspan in Parade

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