MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A rowing coach who has been to the Olympics will soon be teaching young rowers on the Treasure Coast.
Paul Mokha has a lot to look forward to as he starts a new job as director of Vero Beach Rowing.
"The United States is one of the powerhouses in the world," Mokha said referring to the U.S. Rowing team. "We do have several events where we should win a medal. I'd be disappointed if we don't win a medal."
Mokha will be watching the Olympics as he packs for a move from Miami Beach to Vero Beach by the end of the month.
A former rowing competitor for the U.S. in the World Championships, he also was an Olympic coach at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
This time he said the athletes are now trying to cope with COVID-19 restrictions while preparing for the world stage.
"The COVID protocol, from what I'm getting back, it's a challenge. They're isolated in their rooms, leaving only for training and eating and being tested three or four times a day."
He said the sport of rowing is gaining in popularity in Florida among young athletes and said Vero Beach is an ideal place to coach.
"The area has always attracted me, and with Vero Beach acquiring a new facility, and the waterway is great and a lot of energy up there It’s a good place to be," Mokha said.
Until then, he'll be glued to the television watching the competition in Japan.
"If it looks easy, then you know they're really, really good, but then you know they’re putting themselves through excruciating pain," Mokha said.