Kansas University graduate and Iraq War veteran Kortney Clemons finished second in the 100-meter sprint and third in his class in the 200 meters last weekend at the U.S. Paralympic trials in Indianapolis.
But Clemons, who lost most of his right leg in a 2005 explosion in Iraq, said he was not selected to compete on the national team in the 2012 London Paralympic Games later this summer.
Clemons, 31, who currently lives in Lawrence and has been training with KU track coach Stanley Redwine, said he was disappointed he won’t be going to London after his performance among other above-the-knee amputees. He still called his work — from learning how to walk to sprinting competitively — a positive experience.
“I’m not bitter about the journey at all,” said Clemons, who was an Army combat medic and has received a Purple Heart.
Clemons attended KU as part of the Fort Leavenworth’s Wounded Warrior program, and he earned his master’s degree in education in May. He is expecting to move from Lawrence to begin a full-time job with the Army utilizing his academic credentials.
He also hopes to continue working with people who have disabilities, especially children.
“You kind of want to inspire those kids to stay active in school activities,” he said. “That’s huge. This whole movement is bigger than myself.”