SINGAPORE Feb 15 (Reuters) - The Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) are on the hunt for a "rock star" athlete to achieve Olympic glory and build the sport after appointing a new chief executive officer on Tuesday.
The SSF appointed former Olympic sailor Tan Wearn Haw as part of their plan to achieve a first Olympic gold medal for the city-state but they are fully aware that finding a role model to attract local interest is still key.
"For sailing to do well, we need public interest," said SSF honorary advisor Peter Lim. "To create public interest, we need an Olympic medal. To get an Olympic medal, we need a rock star."
Tan, who competed in the Sydney Games in 2000, was based in Spain for two years in 2007 competing in sailing's most prestigious event, the America's Cup.
He said he plans to create a buzz around the sport and promote a sailing culture in Singapore and is negotiating to bring in high profile events such as the World Match Racing Tour.
"Everyone wants to come to Singapore to sail," Tan said. "With money flowing into Singapore and Singapore being a hip place to live, the setting is right."
The SSF said it hopes Tan's experience will provide an added leadership dimension for the federation, who also recently appointed former Ukrainian Olympic gold medallists Evgeny Braslavets and Igor Mativienko as advisors.
(Reporting by Tan Jinhe; Edited by Patrick Johnston; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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