Brothers Conner and Max McHugh both had a great opportunity to earn a spot in the Olympics at the trials this summer. That chance will now be in 2021 after the Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With more than a million cases worldwide many sporting events around the globe have cancelled. So, the Olympics being pushed back wasn’t much of a surprise for athletes with dreams of making it to Tokyo.
“Obviously disappointment just right off the bat, but you could kind of see that it was going along those lines just because you saw that all these other sports were cancelling,” said Conner McHugh.
“I don’t necessarily look at it as a negative. I think it’s just another year, another opportunity to get better,” said Max McHugh.
Older brother Conner swam at the University of Minnesota in college. His younger brother, Max, followed in his footsteps and joined the Gophers in 2018.
Both very accomplished in the pool, including Max claiming a Big Ten title in the breast stroke this year, earned spots in the Olympic trials set for this summer.
Both in one of the most competitive events, the breast stroke.
“It’s ironic that we’re both doing the same stroke. That usually doesn’t happen with siblings. I think it’s a really good motivator every single day, whenever we’ve gone to practice we push each other. We race each other every single day, and it helps us mentally,” said Conner McHugh.
Postponing the Olympics does provide an opportunity for both of the McHugh brothers. It’s an opportunity to get better with another year of experience.
“It’s another year to become more mature. I think get a lot more training in the pool, once we get back there,” said Max McHugh.
The key is getting back in the water. Without the option to swim in the pool during due to stay at home orders the McHugh brothers, like the rest of us, have to find different ways to stay active.
“The biggest point we’re trying to work on, obviously, right now is just staying healthy. If it means we have to lift and work out at our house, then so be it,” said Conner McHugh.
“I mean go for a run, go biking, it makes me more creative about what I can do. What kind of stuff I can do here with stuff I have here,” said Max McHugh.
All in an effort to stay ready for when that opportunity presents itself again, in 2021.