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Montana man potentially competing in unique Olympic sport

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 22:39:46-05

A professor at Carroll College could be competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics and the sport he is competing in is unique.

Professor Stephen Harper explained, “It’s an Olympic Event where you have to walk and there’s two rules, you have to be in contact with the ground and you have to have your knees straight from the moment they hit the ground until they come under you.”

Harper is a 69-year-old computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena. He discovered race walking about 20 years ago on campus.

“I was in my 50’s when Jonathan Matthews moved to town and had a race walking class here at Carroll,” said Harper. “So I took that and I thought ‘this is kind of weird. It’s strange. Let’s see how fast you can go.’”

Harper was fast enough to qualify to race walk at the Olympic trials next week in Santee, California where they will choose who goes to Tokyo.

Harper ranks 13 out of the 15 people who will be competing next week. He has to place in the top 3 to go to Japan for the Summer Olympics.