Madison Hughes ’15 Helps U.S. Rugby Sevens Qualify for Rio Olympics

Read the full story by Bruce Wood, published by Dartmouth’s Department of Physical Education & Recreation.

Editor’s note: Madison Hughes ’15 and his Eagles Sevens teammates won the 2015 North America Caribbean Rugby Association Sevens championship on June 14, earning a spot in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Playing with the Eagles Sevens this year meant Hughes wasn’t able to compete with the Dartmouth team at the Collegiate Rugby Championships in May.

Hughes was disappointed not to be playing in the collegiate championships this year.

Madison Hughes ’15 is the captain of the U.S. national rugby sevens team. (Photo courtesy of Martin Seras Lima)

Coach Gavin Hickie and Hughes’ Dartmouth teammates were likewise disappointed that the Big Green’s best player wasn’t on the pitch at PPL Park in the Philadelphia suburbs.

But most disappointed of all might have been the beancounters at NBC, which created the de facto national championship Sevens event in 2010 as a way to stir up viewership for a sport that next summer returns to the Olympic stage for the first time since 1924.

NBC just-so-happens to have broadcast rights to the Olympics, and the TV people know that nothing draws viewers like a good story. And the story of a college senior leading the Eagles Sevens–the U.S. national team bidding for an Olympic berth–is a very good one indeed.