Tucker Dupree is 24 years old, visually impaired athlete who has excelled in the sport of swimming. Tucker lost his vision at age 17 when he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).
Tucker, a gold medalist and world record holder, is one of the top blind swimmers in America holding a World Record in the 50m and 100m Butterfly, 43 American Records and 9 Pan-American Records. Tucker represented Team USA in the 2008 Beijing and the 2012 London Paralympic Games. At the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Tucker brought home a Silver Medal in the 100 Meter Backstroke and Bronze Medals in the 50 Meter Freestyle and 100 Meter Freestyle.
Tucker continues to inspire everyone with his positive attitude and outlook on life. He is very determined who focuses on his ability and not his disability as he strives to achieve his goals.
This was a short and sweet trip. After a long week of being the IT guy at Pete Hovlands swim camp ending on Thursday, I had to wake up at 4am and head to the airport Friday morning. Cheryl Angelelli and I landed into Denver at 8am. A close friend of mine picked us up and we made our way to the Colorado Springs. After going to the pool and seeing lots of teammates, we went downtown to one of my favorite restraints in downtown Colorado Springs. After a super long day with the time change and homework done my head finally hit the pillow at 10pm mountain time.
In the morning we headed to the pool at 7am. After warming up and feeling the 6,000 feet above sea level burning my lungs, I was ready for the meet to start. Sam and Lauren Flowers opened the meet with two very heart-warming speeches about how much this meet meant to them and how carrying on their dad’s legacy, then the first heat was sent off. I swam the 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter backstroke. There was a new swimmer in my classification in the 50 meter freestyle. He was seated a head of me by a second. After his attempt to beat me he touched the wall a solid 1.5 seconds after me. I also had a great 100 meter backstroke as well. After my 100 meter backstroke I got the great opportunity to be tagged by USADA. I gave my sample and made my way to the Olympic gift shop. After taking a couple pictures with some fans, who found out Cheryl Angelelli, Jessica Long and I were all medalist, we got into the car to head to the airport. After my 36 hour trip, it’s back to Michigan to start the next rounds of Pete Hovlands swim camps. Wish me luck.
In April, I was very excited to be a part of the 6th Annual Governor’s Fitness Awards.
It was an honor to be recognized along with other Olympic and Paralympic athletes, individuals and organizations from Michigan that encourage others to make healthy choices by teaching, volunteering, role modeling or other community involvement.
The Governor’s Fitness Awards serve as a platform for inspirational individuals and organizations for their pursuit, commitment and dedication to healthy lifestyles. Each award recognizes the many different ways the winners are inspiring and influencing Michigan residents to live a healthy lifestyle.
The purpose of the Governor’s Fitness Awards event serves as a platform of appreciation and public recognition for these deserving citizens as well as a fundraiser for the Michigan Fitness Foundation.
It’s events like this that helps me reflect in my healthy choices and my commitment to fitness every day. Also seeing a couple of familiar faces and having others recognize us for our accomplishments is always such a great humbling experience.
So get smart about your food choices and commit to exercising each day and you too can lead healthy lifestyle.
I am extremely honored that a Local North Carolina artist Vincent Wood painted me into a mural at the Aversboro Restaurant located in my home town of Garner, NC along with a couple of other NC celebrities. It is such a humbling feeling when my image and story has touched so many lives. Tonight this chair will be auctioned off and is a part of the Relay for Life Chairs For Hope. I hope people come out for the event and raise a substantial amount of money to go towards such a great cause.
The U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced that 25 athletes have been selected to compete for the United States at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships, Aug. 11-17, in Montreal, Canada. The event is the first major swimming competition since the London 2012 Paralympic Games. I am very excited to share that I have been selected as part of the team and happy to be representing the US at this meet. Full article.
Last week (April 4-6), I got to compete in the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Springs Championships / Spring CanAm held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I competed in four events – 100 Meter Backstroke, 100 Meter Butterfly, 100 Meter Freestyle and the 50 Meter Freestyle. For this meet, I rested for seven days to give my body an opportunity to recover from the past 4 months of training. I was really pleased with my overall performance as I was right off my London times that put me on the podium 3 times. My training is going extremely well as I am much stronger due to me weight training. This was a good meet to test and gauge how to adjust me training and rest for The World Games this summer. Now it is back to training to get myself to the top of the podium.
Getting back into the competition mood is such a great feeling.
As I was preparing and packing for the Michigan Open, an abled-body swim meet, was a very humbling moment for me…. as I was looking at all of my competition e swim suits and thinking, the last I put one of these on, I was in the London where I brought home 3 medals. Although the London Games are over, training never ends.
For the past 4 months, I have been training extremely hard and working on new stroke techniques, so this meet was a great opportunity to see where I am in my fitness training as well as to play around with new stroke techniques. This is an important time to experiment now as the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Springs Championships / Spring CanAm is just two months away.
Given my training cycle and this part of the season, I went into this meet tired and broken down. I competed in 4 sessions making finals both days and set new American Records in the 50 Meter Freestyle and the 100 Meter Butterfly. This was the first time that I have swam a short course meet since 2009. So this was great as I am much stronger and older in the sport of racing. So back to training I go as I prepare for the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Springs Championships / Spring CanAm held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in April.
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today that 16 athletes, including eight gold medalists from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, have been named to the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National A Team. Read the entire article: 2013 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team named.
What better way to start off the 2013 year then a 5K run at 9am on January 1st? It was a very entertaining thought that “not many 23 year old people were waking up to a run after bringing in the New Year the night before.” However, that didn’t stop the 300 people from running in the cold, wet weather in downtown Raleigh, NC in the Commitment Day Run. I had a great time and surprised myself with a great finishing time. So, I would like to challenge all of you to commit to living healthier and exercise for the coming year. You’ll feel good, and inspire someone else to make a positive change. So hopefully this will be a good start to a great year of training and bringing in the New Year!