Resident Feature

Meet Ellie Glenn

Chasing Olympic Dreams

Ellie Glenn fell in love with sailing while growing up in Blackhawk and participating in a Junior Sailing program. She found the love and passion for the sport at a young age and carried that into her racing career. Now, she has embarked on a quest to the 2024 Olympic Games being held in Paris, France. She is partnering with Kelly Cole, from Oklahoma City, OK. “Having been involved in sailing my entire life, competing nationally and internationally, I know that Kelly and I have what it takes to go for Olympic success. Our years of sailing have taught us that if you give one hundred and ten percent of yourself to something, even if it hurts, only good results will come. We have the grit, the passion, and the determination to continue our love for the sport at the highest level and represent the United States of America as a part of the US Sailing Team,” says Ellie. 

Team Kelly Ellie sails the 49er FX, a female class, in high performance sailing. The boat has been in the Olympics since 2016. It is composed of three sails, weighing in at 200 pounds and 16 ft. long. “The boat literally flies across the water,” adds Ellie. She started sailing a double-handed boat, called the C420. Through her years as a youth sailor, she gained experience in a team dynamic, skills of boat tuning and trapping, and physical strength. “Sailing is an extremely unique sport. The athletes competing in Olympic Classes are not just some of the fittest, but also some of the most intelligent. Decisions and execution are required at high speed on the water. There isn’t a straight line to success, and the quickest route isn’t always the most obvious. Sailing forces you to take the routes you would consider the hardest, simply on face value. This directly helps you in a life of business by familiarizing you with the notion that the easy way out isn’t the best way, and grinding out the hard yards is oftentimes more satisfying and rewarding,” shares Ellie. 

A 23-year Blackhawk resident, Ellie graduated from Carondelet High School and went on to attend Valley Forge Military College and the University of Alabama. She has won sportsmanship trophies, as well as been awarded most consistent sailor of her year. She brings another level of attention to detail and organization. “As young sailors, my teammate Kelly and I have accumulated a list of accolades that we know will prepare us for becoming elite athletes. Together, we have competed in North American races placing 3rd at North Americans in Bristol, Rhode Island in June 2021, 1st at the US National Championship in Miami, FL in November 2021 and Top American Team at the US Open in Miami, FL in January 2022,” says Ellie. 

When she is not training around the world, you can find Ellie working as a Junior Sailing Program Director at Encinal Yacht Club, located in Alameda. She says it gives her a chance to pass on her passion, “We are constantly moving locations, to different yacht clubs, and always provide our time to coaching youth sailors. This allows us to give back to the community that we are in and always make time for youth.”

Deeply rooted in the Blackhawk community, Ellie’s parents, John and Grace Glenn and extended family, including her grandmother, Betty Glenn and Aunt, Sharon Hayward, all live in the community. “The neighborhood is beautiful, and the neighbors are extremely caring. We have an outdoor cat who likes to visit all of our neighbor’s houses, and they are always calling to check up on him.” 

We are lucky to have this determined and talented Olympic athlete call Blackhawk home. If you’d like to learn more about her and her team, you can follow their journey at 

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By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010