As an international race officer for World Sailing, the official governing body for the sport of sailing, Scituate native and Sandwich resident Tom Duggan has had the opportunity to run regattas in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Last summer, he served as the race officer at 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, an event faced with looming political, environmental and economic challenges. In the end, the Brazilian people were able to pull things off and Duggan came home with memorable stories about the experience.
“The event organizers really wanted to highlight Guanabara Bay, but the water was very polluted,” says Duggan. “People were wondering if they were going to solve the problem for the Olympics.” Despite this challenge and others, like having their boat launch collapse just before the games began, the Olympic sailing events were a success. Highlights included a dramatic gold-medal win by the Brazilian women’s sailing team. Duggan will be sharing stories, photos and videos from his experience at the summer Olympics in Rio at the James Library on April 3rd at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 24 West St., Norwell, 781-659-7100, jameslibrary.org