Local Olympian throws short of medal

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News 12, First at 5, August 15, 2008

HARLEM, Ga.---Winning an Olympic medal has been a dream years in the making for shot putter Reese Hoffa...but it's a dream that was postponed today as he came up short of a medal.

It was supposed to be a day to celebrate. Reese Hoffa was a favorite to at least win a medal in the shot put, maybe even gold. While everyone kept a close eye on the Internet for results, it was a family friend who broke the news with a phone call. Reese came in seventh.

"No way, you gotta be kidding me. That can't be right," says Reese's stepmother Vicki Hoffa.

It wasn't the outcome they had been hoping for, but they still couldn't be prouder of their Olympic hero. "You couldn't ask for any more of a son," beams Reese's father Steve Hoffa.

"Oh we're just so proud of him. It doesn't matter if he even made the qualifying rounds. We're proud of him, he's accomplished a lot," says Vicki.

Reese came in 22nd in the Olympic games four years ago in Athens, and his family believes he's probably already thinking about the London games in 2012. "He takes the good with the bad and that's the way it should be. You know not everything's going to turn out great. We'll be there in another four years," says Steve.

"He was probably upset with himself, knowing Reese. He's a competitor and he wanted this really bad," says Vicki.

Paralympian Scott Winkler came by the Hoffa house. Over the last few years, Reese has meant a lot to Scott. "I'm proud of him. He's actually another person I'm looking up to and its like he's leading the way for me. I want to follow in his footsteps," says Scott.

And he will, next week Scott leaves for China to compete in the same event, in the same arena. "I know he's going through pressure because right now, I'm nervous. I didn't even get up there yet. I'm not even in that country and I'm nervous" says Scott.

Now Reese's family is just eager to hear from him and tell him good job. "We just want to talk to him. We'll all be fine when we talk to him and tell him we love him," says Vicki.

He didn't win a medal, but the Reese Rooter's are still celebrating. "We're gonna party, we sure are because we're proud of him. This is Reese's day and we're going to party for him," says Vicki.

Steve, Reese's Dad said he did get to talk to Reese this afternoon and he said he seemed a little bit down, questioning what went wrong.
Steve said he tried to pick him up as much as he could saying he's still number one to everyone back home.

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