Thirty years ago Reese Hoffa and his older brother Lamont were playing around with a cigarette lighter and accidently lit his house on fire. Weeks after the fire, their mother drove them to the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Louisville, Kentucky and said good bye. Reese believed it was his wrongdoing that led to their adoption. What Reese did not know is that his mother was a teenager struggling to make ends meet. To provide them with a better life, she took them to the orphanage.
Eighteen months later, Reese would be adopted by Cathy Hoffa. Being separated from your mother and brother, joining a new family, and holding the burden of separating your family has to be very tough on one’s mind, especially a 4-year-old’s. Only the heart of a champion could extinguish these flames. Reese Hoffa would later locate his brother and mother and learn the truth of why he was adopted.
Reese Hoffa said,”The only request my parents gave is if you’re going to do something, work as hard as you possibly can for it and never give up.” Reese would take this to heart and at the 2012 Olympics, he would achieve the pinnacle of his career, a bronze medal in the Shot Put. The path from the orphanage to the podium is an extraordinary feat, and Reese is a testament to second chances.
Fun Facts about Reese Hoffa:
- Reese is able to solve a Rubik’s cube in 30 seconds.
- Reese’s name was changed from Maurice Antawn Chism to Michael Reese Hoffa. He chose Michael after his favorite character on Knight Rider.
- Reese graduated from the University of Georgia.
- In 2012, he threw farther than 21 meters in competition for the 100th time, putting him in rarefied air in the throwing community.