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Paralympic swimmer honored by Disabilities Hall of Fame

11/11/2011

Tucker Dupree, North Carolina’s Paralympic Swimming star from Garner, has been named the Roger McCarville Male Athlete of the Year Award by the Disabilities Hall of Fame.

This award recognizes an outstanding male athlete for his athletic achievements for the past year.

Established in 1999, the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame (ADN) has recognized nearly 100 individuals who share a passion for life and a dedication to inspire others through their words, actions and giving back to the greater community. Past recipients include World Champions, Paralympian, Special Olympian, and some of the most distinguished athletes and community leaders in their fields.

The Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame recognizes and honors men and women who have overcome physical challenges to become elite athletes and superior role models. Dupree joins the following athletes in the ADN’s Hall of Fame Class of 2011:

National Hall of Fame: Bobby McMullen and David Lee
Michigan Hall of Fame: Michael Henry
Tony Filippis Sr. Corporate Leadership Award: Detroit Lions
Rick Knas Lifetime Achievement Award: Shawn Kornoelje
Pat McDonald Female Athlete of the Year: Amy Palmiero-Winters
Roger McCarville Male Athlete of the Year: Tucker Dupree
Mark "Doc" Andrews Rising Star Award: Ronnie Dickson

ADN's mission is to promote a better quality of life by creating opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

Dupree now lives full-time in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the U.S. Olympic Training Center as part of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Resident Program until he travels to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games. Dupree was chosen for the resident program based on competitive performance and an application process.

“The fact that I am at the U.S. Olympic Training Center now is something that I think will take me to the next level,” Dupree said. “I have all the resources at my disposal here that can help me get to the (medal) podium in 2012 (at the Paralympic Games in London). I am looking forward to making the most of my elite training here in Colorado Springs.”

Dupree won five medals and set World Records in the 50M and 100M Butterfly at the 2009 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2010, Tucker represented the United States at the Speedo CAN-AM ParaSwimming Competition in Edmonton, earning six gold medals, and at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, taking one silver medal and four bronze medals.

At the 2011 US Paralympics Swimming Springs Competition, Dupree became ill during the meet, but still won a gold medal and was named the Swimmer of the Meet. Currently, he holds two World Records, 36 American Records and seven Pan-American Records and is ranked third in the world in five events, including the 50M and 100M Butterfly.

He's on track to win gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

At age 17, Dupree, while a standout high school swimmer, began to lose his vision and was diagnosed with a rare disease called Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. In a short period of time, he lost 60-80% of his central vision in both eyes. Since that time, however, he has become a stronger swimmer with his sights set on Paralympic Gold, and has also set a new life ambition: personal inspirational speaking.

The Paralympic Games is an Olympic style competition for more than 4,000 elite athletes representing 136 countries in 13 different disability groups, emphasizing their athletic achievements rather than their disabilities. Dupree qualified to represent the United States at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Minneapolis last April at the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Trials where he won five gold medals.

Dupree is a 2007 honors graduate of Garner Magnet High School in Garner, N.C. He spent the 2008-09 school year as a varsity swimmer at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., near Shelby.

For more information, or to inquire about Tucker Dupree as an inspirational speaker, please contact www.tuckerdupree.com or 919-210-4068, or Ken Bland at ken.bland@sas.com.  

To join Tucker Dupree’s Fan Page, visit http://www.facebook.com/l/3f9c0;www.tuckerdupree.com.