Sara Hughes has known she wanted to be a professional beach volleyball player since she was 8 years old. For nearly 20 years, that’s exactly the path her life went on: tabbed by USA Volleyball’s developmental program, the first scholarship athlete on the USC beach team, National Champion, AVP Champion, Olympic favorite. Until an injury to Summer Ross kept them out of the qualification process for the Tokyo Olympics. It left Hughes in a strange spot: Not on top of the beach volleyball world.
Now she’s back again, winning a gold medal in Itapema with Kelley Kolinske, a team coached by Evie Matthews and trained by the podcast favorite Mykel Jenkins.
On this episode, we chat about:
- How Hughes and Kolinske got together, and why they’ve been such a good fit so quickly
- The refreshing aspect of starting a new team: new partner, new coach, new trainer
- The two years of struggle when Ross was out with an injury, which left Hughes without a partner and running mate for Tokyo
- How she used those two years to only get better, something we’re all witnessing now
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