With the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics right around the corner, a number of Tech alums are narrowing their focus on the medal stands—or at least the qualifying rounds.
Here’s a look at some of the promising competitors angling for spots at this summer’s games (the Olympics kick off on July 27, the Paralympics on August 29, both in London). To track the progress of these world-class Yellow Jackets and others, visit gtalumnimag.com/olympics closer to the opening ceremony.
Cassie Mitchell, PhD BME 09
Events: Handcycling, wheelchair track racing
Career highlights: 2010 U.S. Handcycling national champion (first female quadriplegic handcyclist to win); 2011 gold medals in individual time trial and road race events at the Union Cycliste International Para-cyling World Championship; 2011 USA Cycling and Paracycling national champion
Kimery Hern, Mgt 09
Hometown: Clinton, Wash.
Event: Hammer throw
Career highlights: 2007 All-American; 2007 and 2008 All-ACC; holds Tech record (197 feet, 11 inches)
Chaunté Howard Lowe, Econ 08
Hometown: Riverside, Calif., and Loganville, Ga.
Event: High jump
Career highlights: 2003, 2004 and 2005 NCAA national champion; 2004 ACC outdoor champion; qualified for 2004 Olympic Games; sixth place in 2008 Olympics; holds U.S. record for high-jump (2.02 meters); won the 2012 USA Indoor Track & Field Championship
Chandler Alford, ME 09, MS ME 12
Career highlights: 2004-2008 All-American, 2008 national university champion, 2000-2011 American Open competitor (2007, second place); 2006 resident athlete at U.S. Olympic Training Center; ranked 16th in 2008 Olympic trials; coaches Olympic weightlifting around the United States through CrossFit, Inc.
James Wade, IE 10, current BME PhD student
Hometown: Boise, Idaho Event: Slalom K-1 kayaking
Career highlights: 2009 U.S. national champion; member of U.S. national team in 2006-07, 2009-10; top U.S. competitor and eighth overall at 2012 Oceania Championships
Alphonso Jordan, Arch 10
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Event: Hurdles, long jump, triple jump
Career highlights: 2007, 2008 and 2009 All-ACC; 2009 NCAA Indoor All American; holds Tech record for triple jump (53 feet, 9.25 inches); 2012 sixth-place finish in triple jump at USA Indoor Championships
Mark Zupan, CE 99
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Event: Wheelchair rugby
Career highlights: 2008 U.S. Quad Rugby Association national champion; 2006 gold medal at World Wheelchair Rugby Championships; 2004 bronze medal at 2004 Paralympic Games; gold medal at 2008 Paralympics; featured in Murderball, a 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary about wheelchair rugby; has appeared on TV shows including Miami Ink and Friday Night Lights