Kourtney Clemons: The Heart of a Champion

When you first see 26-year-old Kourtney Clemons from Little Rock, Miss., you probably would not notice anything different about him.

But Kourtney is not your average Army soldier. You might say he's an ordinary guy who has faced some extraordinary circumstances and overcome adversity.

In February of 2005, Kourtney was a paramedic in the Army serving in Iraq. He lost his right leg to a roadside bomb while trying to save fellow soldiers. But Clemons says at least three other service men were killed. He says he is thankful.

"The main thing, I was like just worried about being alive, and then you go through your phases of like, 'Man, I had so many plans!' Then you're like, 'Why me?’" said Clemons.

But he's not asking that question any longer. Clemons is living his life to the fullest, despite a disability.

Kourtney has just completed his first semester at Penn State University where he's majoring in therapeutic recreation and counseling. He's also a member of the school's track and power lifting teams. Just three months ago, he placed 13th in the world in a parathletic weightlifting competition in Korea. Clemons is now preparing for various races to qualify to run in the upcoming Para Olympics in Brazil.

"If something happened to me like that now, I would fight that much harder because I see him," said James Clemons, Kourtney's father. "And it hasn't slowed him down. I think maybe it speeded him up!"

"In the beginning, it was kind of tough. All days are not going to be good days and that's life with everybody," said Clemons. "Everybody goes through something. It may be physically. It may be mentally. But everybody goes through something. For someone that's going through something, just continue to like keep trying. Never give up because just like you're in a bad situation, somebody else may be in a situation a little worse than yours."

With that, Kourtney advises everyone to strive to reach their goals. After all, he says it's only when you try to do your best that you ever reach true success.Click here to view this story


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