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Congratulating Oracle Team USA

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Illinois (Mr. Davis) for his courtesy to allow me, with great enthusiasm, to come to the floor to salute Team America, the Oracle Team USA, which came from behind to win the America's Cup.

As many people may be aware, and some not, over the past year or so the San Francisco Bay Area has been home to the America's Cup race. It's a venerable race. It is usually out to sea, where people in their sailboats could witness what was going on or see it on TV. Because of the vision of Larry Ellison, it was brought to San Francisco Bay. It went from white caps to blue collar, and anyone who could see the bay could see the America's Cup race. The shores were lined with people, and anyone who had a view of the water could see something spectacular happen.

For the past 2 weeks, San Francisco was home to the 34th America's Cup Finals, where Oracle Team USA and Emirates New Zealand raced across the bay for the right to win the oldest trophy in international sport.

The race was swift--boasting AC72s, the fastest catamarans the competition has ever seen. The race was long--lasting over 15 days, as these two incredible teams competed in 19 races. The race was close--featuring the first ``winner-takes-all'' final race in 30 years.

And yesterday afternoon, the 34th America's Cup finished with the most incredible comeback in history. After trailing Team New Zealand one to eight--Team USA had one, Team New Zealand had eight--Oracle Team USA surged ahead to win an unprecedented eight straight races to once again hold the America's Cup trophy high above their heads.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Tactician Sir Ben Ainslie, and the entire Oracle Team USA sailed into the Port of San Francisco as champions, welcomed by the largest and loudest crowd to cheer their entrance into history--or any team in history.

There could be no better backdrop, in my view--or in the view of anyone who saw it--to such a momentous American moment when Team USA in San Francisco Bay crossed over to victory with the backdrop of the hugest American flag I have ever seen.

This all was a vision of Oracle Team Sponsor Larry Ellison, who was on the water with his crew joining in the celebration of his team's second victory in America's Cup. Larry Ellison's vision democratized the Cup--as I said, from white caps to blue collar--by bringing the race so close to the shoreline that everyone who could view San Francisco Bay could view the excitement of America's Cup.

That beautiful sight was made possible by the extraordinary leadership of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Mark Buell, who led a private sector initiative, Kyri McClellan of the America's Cup Organizing Committee, and Daley Dunham with the Port of San Francisco.

Thank you to the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers for helping make this race a spectacular sight to see. With the help of these leaders and the local San Francisco maritime unions, the world witnessed one of the greatest moments in sports history on the beautiful bay.

The America's Cup is the oldest and most prestigious trophy in yachting. Team USA won the very first race in 1851 and had successfully defended the Cup for the next 132 years, until 1983. Exactly 30 years later, the Cup returned home where it belongs--in the hands of American sailors who defied the odds, were so courageous, were so disciplined, who were so focused, who had such a strategic plan to give our country--USA, USA, USA--a victory we will never forget.

Thank you, Oracle Team USA, for putting your hearts, your souls, your everything, your all into the 34th America's Cup. You have earned your place in history.


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