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Former USA Olympian puts down roots at Crystal Mountain

August 23, 2021

THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (August 23, 2021) – Born and raised in Ludington, Mich., Matthew Hughes has fond childhood memories of traveling to Crystal Mountain every weekend growing up. It all started when his family was introduced to the resort by a family friend.

“From 1985-1990 we would drive up Saturday morning, ski all day, drive back, and drive up again Sunday morning to ski all day,” Hughes said. “Eventually, my parents learned to ski and decided we liked it enough they would build a house here.”

Matthew Hughes and family 2008

“The Hughes family has been a part of our Crystal Mountain community for decades,” said Jeff Rabidoux, resort and second home property specialist. “To have Matt and his wife return here to raise their own family, is really something special. We love to see the different generations continue to call Crystal Mountain home.”

Hughes graduated from high school and went on to study finance and computer information systems at the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, he was an impressive athlete on the Wolverine rowing team and went on to train for the USA rowing team in 2004 after graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

In 2008, Hughes competed in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

“I think my favorite memory was just competing in the finals, but the whole experience was pretty phenomenal,” said Hughes. “The best part for the rowing team is that it’s the first week of the Olympics, so you can really enjoy the whole next week with no pressure and no constraints. We had free tickets to the other events and I remember we would go to 3 or 4 a day.”

Although the 2008 US Olympic Rowing Team didn’t win a medal that year, Hughes may own the record for the quickest transition from Olympic finals to employment. Before leaving for the games, Hughes accepted a job with One Equity Partners, and one of his coworkers, also a former Olympian, flew to China to watch.

“I met up with him after the finals and he said, ‘I have a meeting at 8 a.m. tomorrow, do you have a suit?’ And I had just bought a suit in the lobby, so I went to the meeting with him less than 24-hours after competing.”

Today, Hughes is on the board of US Rowing and continues to work as the Managing Director for OEP based in Chicago. However, with a brand new, beautiful home at Crystal Mountain, he and his wife Kristin hope to make this their permanent home with their two young daughters – right across the street from Grandma and Grandpa Hughes.

“Crystal Mountain has played a large part in who I am,” said Hughes. “It’s so much harder to stay active all year round in a big city, so to have Crystal Mountain as our backyard to ski, sled, bike, and golf with family is perfect.”

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About Crystal Mountain:

Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort destination located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City and a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The 1,500-acre resort features lodging, dining, downhill and cross-country skiing, two championship golf courses, shopping, award-winning Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, Peak Fitness, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, weddings, a conference center, and real estate options. Visit for more resort details or information about Four Seasons Club memberships. 

Crystal Mountain Media Contact: 
Brittney Buti
cell: 269-845-1352


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