Chris McHugh (beach volleyball) and Paul Burnett came from a set down and saved two match points to prevail over Canada in a thriller to win gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was the second successive gold for McHugh after he and Damien Schumann won beach volleyball’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal at Gold Coast 2018. McHugh had contemplated retirement after those Games, but the dream of leading Australia back into the men’s tournament at the Olympics was his motivation to keep going, having fallen a few points shy of going to London in 2012 with three-time Olympian Josh Slack. That dream finally materialised in 2021 when he and Schumann – who came together after the 2016 Olympic cycle – qualified for Tokyo, the first Australian men’s pair to play at the Olympics since 2008. Unfortunately, they drew a tough pool that included the reigning world champions and they were eliminated. McHugh says he got into the sport to avoid clarinet lessons and likes to tap his partner’s head for good luck before each match.
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St Michaels College 2007
Why did you begin your sport?
To get myself out of clarinet lessons
Do you have any pre-competition routines or rituals?
before every match have to rub my partners head before walking on the court
What is your most memorable sporting achievement?
bronze medal 2014 Austrian Grand Slam
Who is your hero / idol, and why? Have you ever met them?
Glen Mcgrath, Model of consistency. Never met him
Who has been the most influential person or people in your career and why?
Craig Marshall, coach me for 10 years . Taught me more about life more than the sport
Do you have any hobbies away from your sport?
Fishing, spending time with my wife
What is your sporting ambition?
Don't get injured