Olympic Sailing Hopeful Backs Hospital Ship Charity

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Laser Sailor Paul Goodison goes for gold and aims to give back to Mercy Ships

Paul Goodison -- Team Volvo. Photo courtesy Into the Blue PR

The work Mercy Ships does to supply people around the world with much needed medical care is fantastic and I am excited about being able to help spread the message. I am looking forward to working with Mercy Ships.

Reigning four-time European Laser Champion and one of Britain's greatest medal hopes at the Beijing Olympics, racer Paul Goodison, has announced his support for the international seagoing charity Mercy Ships which provides free medical care to the people of Africa.

While his dreams of winning an Olympic gold are his top priority, Paul has taken the time this week to confirm his support of Mercy Ships as he is acutely aware that the suffering of millions of people around the world will continue throughout the Games.

Paul said, "The work Mercy Ships does to supply people around the world with much needed medical care is fantastic and I am excited about being able to help spread the message. I am looking forward to working with Mercy Ships."

Goodison, Team Volvo for life sailor, won his fourth consecutive Laser European Championship title in Belgium last month and is touted as the "man to watch" for laser competition in Beijing. He heads to China unbeaten after winning Olympic test events at Qingdao in 2006 and 2007.

He continued, "I feel ready for China. My training has been great, I feel fit, and to become European Champion for the fourth year running in such challenging conditions gives me great confidence going in to the Olympics."

Racing for the Laser and Laser Radial classes gets underway on Tuesday 12 August.

"We are thrilled that Paul has committed to supporting our effort to bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of the world. Paul's success in competitive sailing is substantial and we are honoured to have him join the Mercy Ships Team. An endorsement from an athlete of his calibre is special as it not only brings visibility to our cause, but he will help to serve as a great example of success through hard work and focus," stated Mercy Ships Interim CEO Sam Smith.

Updates on Paul's Olympic campaign can be found at http://www.paulgoodison.com and you can watch his latest video diaries at http://www.volvocar.co.uk/sailing

About Paul Goodison:
Paul Goodison is a world class laser sailor and is the reigning four-time European and British Champion. He is also a member of Team Volvo for life. Paul was selected to compete in the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 and remains unbeaten in China - having one both Pre- Olympic test events there. The Laser is one of the two single handed dinghies which are sailed at the Olympics by men.

Paul, was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and taught to sail by his father at a young age. He enjoys windsurfing, kite boarding and plays golf in his spare time. He now spends his time living between, Rotherham, Yorkshire, Weymouth, Dorset and on the road at Olympic Class regattas throughout Europe and the US. http://www.paulgoodison.com

About Mercy Ships:
Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships is a leader in using hospital ships to deliver free world-class health care and community development services to the forgotten poor. Over the last 30 years, Mercy Ships has worked in over 70 countries providing services valued at more than $670 million.

Mercy Ships has treated more than 230,000 people in village medical clinics, performed more than 35,000 surgeries, 190,000 dental treatments and completed over 950 construction and agricultural projects, including schools, clinics, orphanages and water wells.

More than 850 crew worldwide representing more than 30 nations are joined each year by thousands of short-term volunteers. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, community developers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. http://www.mercyships.org.uk

About Team Volvo for life:
Paul Goodison is a member of Team Volvo for life. Volvo sponsors this inspirational team, who represent the best of British sailing as they seek to attain their ultimate sailing goals. The Team work with the next generation of British sailors through Volvo's grass roots sailing sponsorships, inspiring youngsters to follow in their footsteps with the same passion and determination.

For more information about Paul Goodison:
Gail Willows, Volvo Sailing Press Officer
Email: gail.willows @ intotheblue.biz
Tel: 01983 203527
http://www.volvocars.co.uk/sailing

Mercy Ships U.S.A.
Pauline Rick
U.S. Public Relations Mngr.
Mercy Ships
T:903-939-7649
rickp @ mercyships.org
http://www.mercyships.org
http://www.mercyshipsnews.org

Mercy Ships International
Diane Rickard
Director Media Relations
Mercy Ship
T: 44 1438 727 800
http://www.mercyships.org
http://www.mercyshipsnews.org

Mercy Ships UK:
Lois Boyle
Senior Consultant
Media House International Ltd
T: 0141 220 6040
lois @ mediahouse.co.uk
http://www.mercyships.org.uk

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