With just a few weeks left until her races in Rio, Helena Scutt is pulling for gold.

The Kirkland native and her sailing partner, Paris Henken, will compete in the 49er FX. It's sailing that's like flying, which is why strength is so important.

Scutt knows what it's like to lose it all, the muscle mass and a chance at competing forever. Another boat crashed into her during the 2013 World Championships, breaking her ribs and spine and causing major internal bleeding.

"I knew instantly it was going to hit me and I couldn't do anything do about it," Scutt said.

Today she says she still has flashbacks on the water, but knows sailing is as mental as it is physical.

"It can be this much. And that one point can be the difference between a gold medal and a silver medal," Scutt said.

That champion attitude is one she's keeping close as negativity continues to plague Brazil – concerns over water quality, the zika virus, and political and financial turmoil.

But Scutt has already trained many times on Brazil's water, and says she's only falling more in love with the country and its people.

"There's what you hear and what you actually see and feel,” Scutt said. “I know what I feel and I'm so excited."

Scutt, who is British by birth, recently raced another course to American citizenship, so she could compete for Team USA.

"Everything – my heart, everything is with the US. There's no sail flag I'd rather pull up," Scutt said.