I believe the person you are thinking of is Canadian yachtsman Larry Lemieux.
"During the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Canadian Larry Lemieux was headed
for what looked like a certain medal. But he saw two men in trouble,
the skipper and crew of the boat from Singapore, that had capsized in
turbulent waters. The waves were big that day, so Lemieux went off
course and saved the lives of those two men, but he also forfeited an
almost certain medal..."
"Larry Lemieux dropped out of the 1988 South Korean Olympics yachting
race to save the lives of two competitors whose boat had capsized.
Though costing him a medal, his act of bravery did not go unnoticed.
IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch honoured Lemieux?s heroism by
presenting him with a porcelain jar with the Olympic insignia, in a
B?nai Brith Canada
"Larry Lemieux (Lifesaver)
Birth: November 12, 1955; Edmonton, Alberta
Accomplishments: He was given a symbolic award for placing the life of
a fellow sailor above race results. He won the gold medal at the 1991
Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba.
Quote: ?I saw the head of the second crew member bobbing in the water.
He was far away from the boat ... I decided that I better do
something.? ?Larry Lemieux"
Raincoast Books: Hearts of Gold
Olympic sailor sacrificed medal competitor drowning
Olympics sailor gold sportsmanship
Olympic sailing drowning
Olympics drowning OR overboard gold sportsmanship
Olympics sacrificed sportsmanship
I hope the information provided is helpful. If you have any questions
regarding my answer please don?t hesitate to ask before rating it.