News 12 @ 6 Tuesday Feb. 12, 2008
Athens, Ga--Yesterday we told you the story of Lakeside High product Reese Hoffa. From his being left in an orphanage to being adopted by a couple who moved to Augusta. Today, Hoffa is one of the best shot puters in the world.
For athletes, it takes a few years to learn a sport, but a lifetime to master. For Reese Hoffa, that might not apply. At Lakeside he didn't take up the shot put til his junior year in high school.
"I just went out there and it just took very easy." said Reese Hoffa
"I just started breaking school records in a couple of weeks so maybe i should stick with it."
He made a good choice. From Lakeside to UGA where he became a four time All American. Then an Olympian in the 2004 games. Talk about a whirl wind career, Hoffa's been in the fast lane since he first picked up the shot.
"When you start getting better, you start talking to other athletes and how long they were throwing and how long their coaches had been working with them, and the short period of time that I've been working on the shot just surprises me that I can progress so fast. Not only at the state level, but the national level." said Hoffa
It was during those college days Hoffa also became kind of a ham, which he wasn't at Lakeside. He juggles just about anything, he's pretty good at it, solves the rubiks cube in under a minute, and has actually taken a turkey leg for a victroy lap spin.
"The big thing at the Drake Relays is the turkey leg." said Hoffa "I won it, did a victory lap. Come back the second year, my junior year and my coach says lets do something special. They sell these turkey legs here you think you'd want to do a lap with a turkey leg? I'm like, that sounds like fun."
Hoffa's even gone as far as wearing a mask during a competition. 2007 was his best ever .Winning the US Championship then winning the worlds.
"I realized if I go to the Olympics and win and do some incredible things it really progresses myself financially and in terms of being a celebrity also. It's a great thing to win the Olympics." said Hoffa with a laugh.
Olympic qualifying for Hoffa is June 27th and he has to be one of the top three to make the summer games in Beijing.