My Favorite Athlete (JESSE KURTZ)

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

As a Sports Reporter, I am often asked "who is my favorite athlete." I finally have my answer and the video to prove it.

As a Sports Reporter, I am often asked "who is my favorite athlete."   I grew up a big Cal Ripken Jr. fan.  I also liked Greg Maddux, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky. 


My favorite athlete of all time is....  Jim Kurtz, my father.

In 2006, he won a gold medal as a Triathlete in the National Transplant Games in 2006.  He did so less than a year after receiving a liver transplant when his liver became littered with Cancer.  The surgery was brutal, and the recovery was worse.   Fighting through chemo and radiation treatments, my dad continued to exercise.  As a former athlete, keeping "fit" was very important to him.  During his treatment, he learned of an Olympic-style competition that was held every two years for transplant patients called "The Transplant Games."  He was in!  My dad started to swim, bike and run with a goal of competing as a Triathlete.  Not only did he compete, he won the national GOLD MEDAL!  I have never been so proud of anyone in my life!

In 2008, the Cancer returned.  My dad died on June 28, 2008.

Last night, I finally got the courage to dig up the video I edited for him after he won his gold medal.  It was the first time I watched it since he died.  It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.  I am posting this video exactly two years after his death (the link is below).

I wanted to finally share it with all of you because I finally have the answer to the question, "Who is my favorite athlete?"

Without question, it's Jim Kurtz.  My dad.


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  • by sherri Location: colorado springs on Oct 13, 2010 at 09:52 PM
    Jesse, I am one of Brett Favre's biggest fans.My family has season tickets for the Packer games and we all love Brett no matter who he plays for. Your piece tonight is hilarous. Brett will think so too when his voice becomes male again, great job
  • by Vicki Location: Canon City on Jul 13, 2010 at 07:21 AM
    Jesse, I graduated high school with your dad. Since you started covering sports on KKTV, I have often thought how proud your dad must have been having you as a son. I did not know about the transplant. But I knew he passed last year. From this video I believe he inspired many when he was preparing for and participating in the Transplant Olympics. Great video about a great athlete!
  • by Steve Location: La Junta on Jul 9, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    Your Dad was not only one of my favorite athletes, but one of my favorite people ever. I miss him. Great video Jesse.
  • by Barbara Location: Pueblo, CO on Jul 3, 2010 at 08:44 PM
    You said it Jesse. He is my favorite athlete too. What an inspirational guy - my brother, Jim.
  • by Janet Location: Denver on Jul 3, 2010 at 04:59 PM
    Awesone Thank you Jesse Love, Janet xoxoxo
  • by Jeff Location: Pueblo on Jun 29, 2010 at 04:50 PM
    Awesome video! Your Dad was an inspiration and very generous man to many people. He was not only a good athlete but a great man and brother. I miss him dearly.
  • by George Walker Location: Los Angeles on Jun 29, 2010 at 03:49 PM
    Inspiring and beautifully done!
  • by Dan Location: Arvada on Jun 29, 2010 at 01:01 PM
    Not a day goes by that I don't miss him. He was my favorite man too! Great job Jess!
  • by DONNA Location: VAIL on Jun 29, 2010 at 09:36 AM
    Great video Jesse, Your Dad was a fun loving great man and we all miss him. So many fun memories of him.
  • by Ann Walker Location: Highlands Ranch on Jun 29, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    Tears and smiles! A great tribute! Well done Jesse. What a great person and inspiration he was!
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