Miami sailor Dave Hughes has navigated a backwards path to the Rio Olympics.
At age 38, this will be Hughes' first time competing in the summer games as an athlete. But just 4 years ago, he was an Olympic sailing coach.
"I guess my Olympic fever was still there (after London 2012),” said Hughes. "And that's when I partnered up with the guy who beat me at the 2008 trials.”
Hughes pauses and smiles.
"That awesomeness is not lost on me at all."
Hughes and Stu Mcnay will be in a boat the size of a car, competing in an event called the 2-man 470.
"The real poetry of what happens in sailing is when you're clicking with your partner on a mental level,” explains Hughes.
Hughes grew up in Maine, but started training in Miami 10 years ago because of great sailing conditions and the annual sailing world cup in Coconut Grove.
In Rio, Hughes and Mcnay are considered among the top 5 teams in the field. And they don’t lack in confidence.
The front page of their website mcnayhughes.com recently said:
“Simple goal; gold medal. We’ve been there before. We know what it takes. This is not about just going to the Olympics. We already have enough t-shirts."
"I think it says it all,” Hughes told NBC 6. "We're there to bring back a medal, that's what we do. We love the Olympic experience, but we're just frothing at the mouth about the competition."