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McKinnon-Tucker takes gold at 2008 Beijing Paralympics

Maureen McKinnon-Tucker
BOSTON The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) congratulates Maureen McKinnon-Tucker and her sailing partner Nick Scandone for their gold medal victory in the Two-Person Keelboat SKUD 18 event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. McKinnon-Tucker became a paraplegic after falling from a seawall and injuring her spinal cord. Scandone was diagnosed in 2002 with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

In May 2007 Scandone, a native of Orange County, Cal., and McKinnon-Tucker of Marblehead, Mass., competed for their first Paralympics Trial Regatta in Newport, R.I.

McKinnon-Tucker is the Adaptive Sailing Coordinator at East Boston's Piers Park Sailing Center (PPSC) where for the past two years she has introduced sailing to children and adults living with disabilities. Located on the waterfront, PPSC, sponsored by Massport, is a non-profit community sailing facility that offers free sailing programs for Boston area youth and affordable programs for adults. Students work closely with instructors, and learn everything from sailing basics to advanced racing, from boat maintenance to navigation. Besides learning to sail, youngsters learn how to work as a team, build self-confidence, gain leadership skills, and develop a deep appreciation for the sea.

"Massport extends our heartfelt congratulations to Maureen and Nick for winning the gold," said Michael A. Leone, Massport's Port Director. "We also want to commend Maureen for sharing her tremendous inspiration and love of sailing with other individuals so they can appreciate the joys and thrills that come with sailing."

McKinnon-Tucker was born in Lynn, grew up in Wilbraham, and now lives in Marblehead with her husband Dan and their two children, Dana and Trent. She attended the University of Massachusetts, Boston. McKinnon-Tucker's motto is "Sail! Challenge! Inspire." To learn more about Maureen's mission visit her Web site at To learn more about the Piers Park Sailing Center, visit