Dave McPherson remembers the night he and his wife were driving home from a state taekwondo tournament that their adopted son and daughter had competed in during the weekend.
He took a moment, glanced at the trophies sitting on the dashboard of the van and made a joke that perhaps one day their children would be competing on a much higher level.
“The kids were asleep in the back seat and I looked over at the trophies and then over to my wife and said ‘I suppose one of these days we will be going to the Olympics,’” McPherson said during a phone interview before heading back home from a vacation on Navarre Beach. “We laughed about it and figured it would really never happen.”
Turns out, what once seemed unlikely eventually became a reality. Paige McPherson, 25, did go on to compete in the Olympics, winning a bronze in London in 2012. She is headed to Rio for this year’s Olympic Games.
“It’s a long process. She just didn’t leap out and go to the Olympics,” Dave said. “She started out when she was almost seven and she wasn’t much older than that before she started winning state tournaments. We drove and flew all over the place with her for tournaments and have always been proud of her whether she wins or loses.”
Paige has endured her share of defeats but has had plenty of success as well, such as the silver medal in the 2011 Pan American Games or defeating her idol, 2004 Olympian Nia Abdallah, to qualify for the Olympics in London.
Read more in the June 9 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.