TUSCALOOSA YOUTH HAS OLYMPIC PEDIGREE
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — By the age of 4, Kourtni Jackson was running faster than kids double her age. Now at age nine, she is the 2016 Alabama State Games gold medalist in the 100 and 200 meter dash, silver medalist in the 400 meter dash, bronze medalist the long jump and the 2015 USA Track & Field Alabama Champion (8 & U) in the 100 meter dash and 1,500 meter run. She is even an AAU (8 & U) National Champion in Golf. Her dad says she was running before she could crawl.
“For me to see my own flesh and blood my own daughter to cross the line and to be successful is priceless it is so priceless and like I said I’m almost in tears every time I see her compete,” said Kourtni’s father Courtney.
“I started at a young age and I just grew up to do it and track has always been something special to me,” Kourtni said.
All of her success did not come without struggle, Kourtni was born with a defect of her left foot.
She said, “when I walk on it, it hurts me a lot so when that happens it happens when I run so it just motivates me more. You can do anything even if you are hurt.”
“To go through so much, for her to have that, you know we don’t really use it as a disability. She is a great example for anyone who is dealing with any type of issue physically or mentally that you can do anything you want to do,” Courtney said.
That mindset led her to one of her greatest achievements: winning as the 2015 Alabama Female Athlete of the Year, from Governor Bentley. She was honored as a torch bearer at the 2016 Alabama State Games
“I kid you not I cried just to see my little girl up there carrying the torch the same torch that the great Muhammad Ali carried in the 1996 Olympics, I was very proud of her. She was such a big girl I know she was scared to hold the torch but she did it,” Courtney said.
“I got to hold it from another special athlete, and it was really fun. I was a little scared but it was alright, I liked it alot,” Kourtni said.
Like any other 9 year-old, Kourtni is getting ready to get back to school, but she’s always preparing for her next big event.