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.
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!
Wow what a great year. So many great things have happened this year and boy was I glad that the Mayas were wrong about the end of the world as I still have much to accomplish.
In looking back at 2012, here are a couple of highlights:
- Huge move from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado to Michigan to get ready for Paralympic trials in North Dakota and the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
- Being a featured athlete as part of the special Olympic Edition of the Topps trading cards.
- Being named to the 2012 Paralympic team to represent the USA in London.
- Really enjoyed Germany and their hospitality as they served as the USA team host prior to arriving at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
- Had a rough start at the 2012 Games with a 5th and 4th place finish in the 400 Meter Freestyle and the 100 Meter Butter fly. I was extremely happy it wasn’t a repeat of the 2008 Beijing Games. Then when I got my first Paralympic medal, a Bronze in the 100 Meter Freestyle, a Silver medal in the 100 Meter Backstroke and a Bronze medal in the 50 Meter Freestyle.
- Following the Paralympic Games, I had the great privilege to backpack through 9 different countries in 20 days with my best friend Anthony Gambino.
- Traveled to Nebraska to speak and raise money to help build a gym for small town of Broken Bow. Also, great husker hospitality.
- I had the great opportunity and honor to participate in the 86th Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, MI. It was really cool to have the support of Michigan there to see the “hardware” I earned in London.
- And to close out the year I had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family.
I am so grateful for everyone who helped me get to where I needed to be when I needed to be there. I’d like to thank AmbuTech for their continued support and generous donation and to TYR Sports for supplying me with all of my competition swim suits. I would like to thank my coach, Shawn Kornoelje and Cheryl Angelelli for all their support and guidance. I couldn’t have made all of my dreams come true without the help of Ken Bland for who took care of business and handling EVERY logistical item in my life for the past 4 years to make my every step possible. I am very fortunate to be able to look at my career and have such a great backing and FINALLY have hardware to show for it.
We all have so much to be grateful for and I hope that everyone had a great 2012 and here’s looking forward to a great 2013. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.
It was an honor to particiate in the America’s Thanksgiving Parade, an 86 Year Tradition, celebrating 86 years of marching, smiles, clowns and bringing families together in Detroit!
It was awesome to get to reconnect with fellow Olympic and Paralympic athletes and was spoiled by the VIP treatment. It was a beautiful day starting off kind of cold then heating up into the high 50′s. All of the time and effort that goes into putting on a parade was all shared by the half of a million people that came downtown to see all of the floats, balloons and bands. Even though I ended up on the wrong float and was interviewed as Ryan Dupree all in all it was fun to wave to the crowds with 3 medals that I earned with hard work and the support of family and friends. Thanks to everyone and if you were downtown.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade
From left to right: Alex Morgan (soccer), Nathan Adrian (swimming), Peter Vanderkay (swimming), Allison Schmitt (swimming), Tucker Dupree (swimming), Tyler Clary (swimming)[img src=http://www.tuckerdupree.com/wp-content/flagallery/americas-thanksgiving-parade/thumbs/thumbs_ap2.jpg]800Tyler & Tucker
Tyler Clary (swimming) and Tucker Dupree (swimming)
I finally made it to Nebraska after a 4 hour road trip up from Denver with my friends from the Olympic Training Center. We arrived into Broken Bow, NE at 3 AM. The following day we got a tour of the town and saw our welcoming to the town sign at the local fast good joint. That evening Jessica Long and I spoke to about 30 people from the town and raised $1,500.00 to go towards the new gym for the high school. On Monday the whole high school and middle school all squeezed into the Broken Bow auditorium to hear Jessica and I share our insights and thoughts about just how fragile life is and how when things get hard you have to choose between what’s right and what’s easy. We also got to spend time, during lunch, meeting many of folks in attendance signing autographs and taking photos. We also participated in an interview with a local radio station sharing our message. All-in-all we hope that we touched and changed a few lives in such a small town, however, in a huge way.
2012 Broken Bow, NE
[img src=http://www.tuckerdupree.com/wp-content/flagallery/broken-bow-ne/thumbs/thumbs_photo2.jpg]800Tucker shares with high school and middle school
[img src=http://www.tuckerdupree.com/wp-content/flagallery/broken-bow-ne/thumbs/thumbs_photo3.jpg]1080Jessica and Tucker posing for photo
[img src=http://www.tuckerdupree.com/wp-content/flagallery/broken-bow-ne/thumbs/thumbs_photo4.jpg]710Jessica and Tucker at local radio station