Ben is an English sailor and four-times Olympic gold medalist. He won silver at the 1996 Olympic Games and gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in the Laser class. He gained some 18 kilograms (40 lb; 2 st 12 lb) and moved to the larger Finn class for the 2004 Summer Olympics, where he won gold, a feat he repeated in the 2008 competition. In 2012, he became the first person to win medals in sailing at five Olympic Games, and the second (after Paul Elvstrøm) to win four gold medals
He began his sailing career at the age of eight and first competed at the age of ten. His first international competition was the 1989 Optimist world championships held in Japan where he placed 37th.
Ainslie has also won the International Sailing Federation top Award more times than anyone else being named ISAF World Sailor of the Year in 1998, 2002 and 2008.
He was awarded the title of British Yachtsman of the Year in 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2002.
At the beginning of 2005 he worked in the role of Tactician in the New Zealand based Team New Zealand who were preparing to compete in the challenger selection process to win the right to Challenge for the 32nd America’s Cup.
Ben was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours after his success in Sydney, and was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours following the Athens Games. He was again promoted, to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours, following the Beijing Games.
In December 2010, Ainslie finished in first place in the World Match Racing Tour, and is the 2010 ISAF Match Racing Champion.
On the 10th January 2012 Ben Ainslie Racing was formally announced figured headed by Ben with the support of Grant Simmers. It will compete in the remaining AC45 America’s Cup World Series events. The team was underwritten by the American defender Oracle Racing, to whom he has close links. The team aim is to help prepare the defender for competition and to hopefully provide the building blocks for a British challenge to the 35th America’s Cup.
Ben is a truly great Olympian. His current popularity makes him an obvious choice for a number of endorsement projects.