Imagine coming all the way from the bustling city of Hong Kong, China, to the quaint Southern coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina. That’s what brother and sister Gerald Williams and Marian Williams did in order to continue their education and compete for the national championship winning College of Charleston sailing program.
The two siblings grew up only two years apart. Gerald, a senior majoring in business administration, started sailing at the age of eight. Before coming to the College, he was Hong Kong’s national champion in the Laser 4.7, Laser Radial Youth and Laser Standard.
A couple of years later, his little sister, Marian, tagged along and also joined the varsity team at CofC. Marian is currently a sophomore majoring in arts management and enjoying every part of the journey.
“We’ve always been quite close,” says Gerald. “At first, I was kind of skeptical and I wanted to experience college life independently. But, I realized once she got here, it wasn’t a problem having her here at all.”
Marian jokes that her big brother will call her at night and ask her questions like, “Should I get a pizza?”
But attending the same College has given both of them someone to lean on.
“Since Gerald is here, it’s been a lot easier to adjust to college life away from home,” says Marian. “It’s like home away from home, so I haven’t really felt it as much as he did. Whenever we are feeling homesick, we go to Fire (an Asian fusion restaurant located on King Street).”
College of Charleston Sailing has had a handful of brother-sister duos in the program’s illustrious history. Most notably, All-Americans Alana O’Reilly ’06 and Russ O’Reilly ’07, who competed and won national championship titles for the Cougars in the early to mid-2000s.
And the Williams siblings look to continue in the O’Reillys’ path. To read the full story on Gerald and Marian Williams’ sailing prowess visit cofcsports.com.
Featured image: Marian and Gerald Williams at the College of Charleston’s sailing complex in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. (Photo by Marquise Pointer/Athletics Communications Student Intern)