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U.S. Boxing Coach Augie Sanchez gives insight on Rio Olympics

U.S. Olympics Boxing Coach Augie Sanchez of Las Vegas talked to News 3 Team Rio about his athletes competing in this year's Olympics (Chloe Beardsley | KSNV)

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A Las Vegas local is playing a huge role in the 2016 Rio games – but he’s not the one competing. Augie Sanchez gave us a little bit of an insight on what it’s like to be on the other side of the ropes as a coach at the Olympics for Team USA.

Sanchez says being a coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics comes with its own challenges.

“Try to get these kids focused on what they’re here for,” said Sanchez.

Encouragement is also a key to victory, Sanchez says. He knows from experience.

In 1996, Sanchez made an attempt to go to the Olympics but that dream was shut down.

“Came up a little short to the hands up Floyd Mayweather but now I’m here. I made it. It took a long time to get here but I’m here,” said Sanchez.

Now he’s back with a new goal to train athletes, like returning gold medalist Claressa Shields and Shakur Stevenson, to do their best in the sport.

So how does he get them motivated? Aside from countless hours of training, there’s this:

“When they’re in their room laying down you know just meditating and just focusing on what they’re fighting for and who they’re fighting for and what they’re going to do,” said Sanchez.

It looks like his advice is sinking in.

“I’m still living up to my potential and living up to everything everyone is saying right now. So now I gotta get back focus and go get that gold medal,” said boxer Shakur Stevenson.

Hailing from Las Vegas, a town known for the sport of boxing, Sanchez is confident that with his background, these athletes will do well in the fight.

“Just trying to help these young, these youth, try to achieve their goals and I’m happy to be part of that,” said Sanchez.

One of Sanchez’s athletes, Shakur Stevenson, competes later in the semi-finals against Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin. Claressa Shields also advances to the semi-finals on Friday in a fight against Kazakhstan’s Dariga Sakimova. It’s all going down here in Rio.

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