Uruguayan Navy Captain Hugo M. de Barros, who serves as a liaison officer in the U.S. Southern Command since July 2009, is crucial to strengthening military ties between the two countries. His eldest son, Lieutenant Hugo de Barros, intends to follow in his father’s footsteps, but with one difference. He plans to excel at the sport his father never did quite well in – sailing – an event for which he his competing in at the 5th Military World Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“My father never pushed me into a military career, but just growing up as a son of a Naval officer, I learned from him and that became an incentive. He is a great man, an example to be followed. Now, with regard to sailing, I think there’s a lot I can teach him,” joked Lt. de Barros.
The Uruguayan team only trained for three weeks before coming to Rio de Janeiro and all participants must compete in boats provided by the organization, which makes the trials more difficult.
“For the amount of training time we had, I think we’ve done very well, winning two of the nine races in which we’re competing. We raced against countries with Olympic athletes who dedicate almost 100% to this sport,” said de Barros shortly after the end of a trial on Wednesday (July 20), held in the waters of Guanabara Bay, in front of the Naval Academy.
For the younger Hugo, the words that define what he feels for his father are respect and admiration. “I also hope one day get to serve in the U.S. Southern Command as my father and, if possible, keep raising the name of the Uruguayan Navy internationally,” he said.