HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are worse careers than being a professional beach volleyball player. Your office is the sand and you get to travel the world. That's not to say it's not taxing on the body and mind. That is why Hawaii will always be home to former Maryknoll and USC star Tri Bourne, who is back in the islands winding down from an eventful 2016 season.
"It was crazy. My body is feeling it, but I learned a lot," Bourne said. "We almost qualified for the Olympics in the process, so it was all worth it."
Bourne, along with his partner John Hyden, were the first alternates to represent Team USA in Rio de Janeiro. The Honolulu native was painstakingly close to achieving his ultimate goal at just 27 years of age.
"It was one of the tougher things to deal with, but it just makes you stronger and I'll be better because of it," Bourne said. "The fact that I was able to set my goal at the Olympics was crazy to me because four years before that I didn't even think I'd have a chance or didn't even know I'd be playing beach volleyball."
Despite missing out on the Olympics, Bourne says 2016 was a success. He and Hyden finished runner-up and took third place twice against the world's best in FIVB events. Tokyo 2020 is now the ultimate goal, but there's time until that journey begins. The new year will bring a different set of goals for Bourne.
"I know that I want to win the Manhattan Beach Open because I want to the finals two years in a row, and last year we had match point against the guys who took our spot for the Olympics and somehow they squeaked that one out, so I'd like to get my name on the pier there. I just want to win tournaments in any way, shape, or form. If we're on the sand, we're out there to win, and that's what it's all about this year."
While back in Hawaii for the holidays, Bourne will put on his second annual kids clinic "Bourne on the Beach."
"It's all about giving back," said Bourne. "For me I want to show the kids what future they might have coming from Hawaii since I've been in their position and I've gotten to where I am today. There's a huge future in beach volleyball."
The clinic is free to kids ages 10-18 and will be at Ala Moana Beach Park on December 26th. To register, click here.