Kortney Clemons

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Kortney Clemons
Kortney Clemons.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  United States
Born (1980-06-23) June 23, 1980 (age 37)
Residence Little Rock, Mississippi
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)

Kortney Clemons (born June 23, 1980)[1] is an American Paralympic athlete and Iraq War Veteran.[2]

He is featured in the 2009 documentary Warrior Champions about American soldiers who lost limbs or suffered paralysis in Iraq, and their way to the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing.

Early life[edit]

Paralympic athlete Sgt. Kortney Clemons and former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister reminisce about when they played against each other when Clemons was a high school freshman and McAllister was a senior.

Clemons went to high school in Little Rock, Mississippi. He played football, basketball and baseball.

He played junior college football as a cornerback at East Mississippi Community College before he joined the army.[3]

Military service[edit]

Clemons is a Purple Heart recipient. He served in the United States Army from 2001 to 2006.[4]

He was working as a combat medic in the 1st Cavalry Division.

Clemons lost his leg in Baghdad, Iraq on February 21, 2005, when he and other soldiers were helping a group of soldiers whose car had hit gravel and tipped over. As they were helping, a roadside bomb exploded, and wounded some and killed others. In the first years since this happened, Clemons has worn a bracelet with the name of three soldiers who lost their lives; 1st Lt. Jason Timmerman, Staff Sgt. David Day and Sgt. Jesse Lhotka.[5]

Paralympic career[edit]

Clemons attended a clinic held by U.S. Paralympics at Brooke Army Medical Center in 2005, and then a Military Sports Camp, which was when he started track and field training. He first started competing in power lifting, but chose to commit to track and field in 2007.[6]

He is the first Iraq war Veteran to have qualified for the U.S. Paralympic team.[1][2][7]

He tried to qualify for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing,[8] but did not make the cut.[9] This is featured in the 2009 documentary Warrior Champions.[10] He is now focusing on the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[11]

Currently, he is on the roster to compete for the U.S. in the 2016 Summer Paralympics.[12]

National championships[edit]

He won the 100m (T42) at the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, Tempe, Ariz, in 2008.


He attended Penn State University and participated in their Ability Athlete program.[13][14][15]


Clemons, Kortney; Briggs, Bill (2008). Amped: A Soldier's Race for Gold in the Shadow of War. John Wiley & Sons. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-470-28137-6. 



External links[edit]