Locals in London

The 2012 London Paralympic Games are just under way, and Garner’s Tucker Dupree is ready to compete in key swimming events.

Via his blog, Tucker has released his event schedule for the games, which are an elite-level competition for athletes with physical and visual disabilities. The second largest sporting event in the world, after the Olympic Games, the Paralympics are held in the same city and venues.

“It should be an exciting couple of weeks. I am prepared and ready,” Tucker told his fans. “It’s been a long four years as I have prepared for these games, and I’m proud to be one of the 227 athletes competing in 19 sporting events that will be representing the USA.

“I have met some incredible people through this journey, and I thank all of you for your constant encouragement, inspiration and support.”

Triangle East first met Tucker in June, when he was in training for his second Paralympic games experience, after competing in the 2008 games in Beijing.

A 2007 honors graduate of Garner Magnet High School, Dupree is a favored competitor in these 2012 games. He’s holds the world record in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly events, along with dozens of American and Pan-American records.

This summer, he’s added four gold medals to his impressive medal count, winning in the 2012 Summer Canadian American Championships, held in Winnipeg, Canada.

The 2012 Paralympic Games run through Sept. 8 and are the largest ever, featuring 4,200 athletes from 160 countries.

Dupree, who at age 17 was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, a rare condition that has robbed him of 80 percent of his sight, will compete in five swim events.

He’s joined in London by his parents, Marlene and Chet, his manager Ken Bland and childhood friend Anthony Gambino, all of Garner, who are there to cheer him on.

You can cheer too:

ABC TV (ABC1 & ABC2) will show more than 100 hours of exclusive coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The International Paralympic Committee will feature more than 780 hours of live sporting coverage on www.usparalympics.org.

The U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel is at www.youtube.com/USParalympics.

And all NBC and NBC Sports Network Paralympic highlight shows and specials will re-air on Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com.

Tucker’s competition schedule is as follows:

• Thursday, Aug. 30 – 400-meter freestyle
• Sunday, Sept. 2 – 100-meter butterfly
• Tuesday, Sept. 4 – 100-meter freestyle
• Wednesday, Sept. 5 – 100-meter backstroke
• Friday, Sept. 7 – 50-meter freestyle
• Sunday, Sept. 9 – Closing Ceremony.

“Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean you can’t succeed,” Dupree told Triangle East. “You have to pick: easy or right. It’s easy to give up because of a disability. It’s right to go on and succeed. It’s a chance to test your character, and more than medals or trophies, that’s success.”

For our feature story on Tucker, click here.


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