Mark competed in his first Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games in the laser event. His first sail took place on August 15, and the American enjoyed his best race of the competition as he finished second (0:22), while his second race was a weaker 14th place finish (1:41). Two days later Mendelblatt's rankings dropped as he finished his third race in 20th place (1:45) and his fourth race 6th (1:41). On August 18th the American continued his hunt for medals as he enjoyed to solid races, placing 6th (1:14) and 10th (2:03). Races seven and eight, held the next day, were disastrous for Mark and he lost all hope. He ranked 29th (3:39) and 22nd (3:02) respectively in races held on August 19. Mendelblatt consisted in his indifferent form placing 17th (1:59) in his 9th race but improved to 6th place in his 10th race (0:56). Following a 9th place performance (1:16) in his eleventh and final race, Mark was ranked 8th in the final reckoning. When asked about the performance he said: “I sailed alright but it takes more than that at the Olympics”.
Mendelblatt inherited his passion for sailing from his parents and his older brother who sailed competitively as well. Though sailing is his passion, Mark is a professional securities broker with a BA in psychology.
Mendelblatt has been the top U.S laser sailing competitor, along with John Myrdal, since the late 1990s. Mark won four national sailing titles at St. Petersburg (Fla.) High School. He was an All-American in 1993-95 at Tufts University and was selected the school athlete of the year in 1994. In his first Olympic trials, in 1996, Mark finished third in the laser teams event. 1999 was a great year for Florida native, as he won silver at the Pan American Games, won the North American Laser Championships, and was selected U.S. Sailing’s Male Athlete of the Year. Unfortunately he narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2000 Sydney Games as he lost to John Myrdal in the final race. Mark worked as a sailing coach at the Olympic Games instead. Mendelblatt returned to his best form in 2003 as he was selected U.S. Sailing’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second time and in 2004 he beat his rival Myrdal for the 2004 Olympic spot. In 2004 he also enjoyed his best World Championships performance, as Mark won silver in Turkey.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. February 19, 1973
St. Petersburg, FLA
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