Charlotte triathlete proud to represent U.S. in London

Charlotte triathlete proud to represent U.S. in London

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by DAVE WAGNER / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @WagnerWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 9 at 6:06 AM

LONDON -- Triathlete Hunter Kemper is a veteran of the Olympic Games. He’s competed in four of them -- Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and now London.

Kemper, who ran in the triathlon Tuesday in London, is a Charlotte native. He was born and raised in the Queen City. He’s also a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he ran cross country.

He didn’t have the best performance, but on Wednesday he told NewsChannel 36's Dave Wagner that he’s still smiling and enjoying the experience.

“I had a tough day yesterday,” Kemper said. “I ended up finishing in 14th place, but all in all I’m pretty happy I was the top American and I’m just happy to be back in my 4th Olympic games.”

His parents have been with him since the beginning of his journey as an Olympian and his dad said it’s been a wonderful ride.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Tom Kemper. “We’ve been to places that I never thought I’d ever go. You know, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. And today London. It’s just a great trip and it’s all because of him.”

Kemper was born at Presbyterian Hospital 36 years ago. His mom said he was a normal kid who learned to walk before he could run.

“I think he was fairly average,” Gretchen Kemper said. “I think he walked at 11 months.”

His parents said they knew they had their hands full as early as first grade.

“The first indication that we might have a problem was when we got his report card in the first grade and the teacher said 'satisfactory' in everything except he does not like to lose,” said Kemper’s father.

Kemper said even though this year’s Olympics didn’t go as planned, he’s enjoying the ride and his moment in the Olympic spotlight.

“As you get older you have to appreciate the journey along the way because sometimes the medal might not come,” he said. “So you have to have other memories from the Olympic games and to me, these are the my memories.”

As for Rio in 2016? It’s still up in the air.

“I’d love to be a triathlete, but maybe not,” Kemper said.

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