NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Success comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl, being at the top of your sport never gets old. Just ask Bud McRee and Ernie Hughes.

“I think it’s keeping both of us young,” said Hughes.

At 81 years young, McRee and Hughes won the 2021 Indoor Pickleball National Championship and have won a few gold medals from the Tennessee Senior Olympics.

It started as a way to stay healthy and have a good time.

“Starting in the 75 (age group), we won every year for five years, and then in the 80s (age group), we’ve never been beaten.”

“Instead of just sitting around all day and watching TV, which a lot of people our age do, it’s not healthy,” said Hughes. “I think this is healthy. It keeps us going, and it gives us something to look forward to.”

Playing is fun, but winning is even better.

“I like to beat people,” said McRee. “I like to win.”

The duo does a lot of winning.

“We never go on the court thinking we’re going to lose,” said Hughes.

Win or lose, the most important thing is just to try.

“Just have to get out there and do it, and try it. You don’t know what you can do if you just sit on the couch. You got to get out and try it.”

The duo will defend their title at the Tennessee Senior Olympics this August.