Kenny Selmon, UNC ’18, is a USA Olympian who competed at the Tokyo Olympic games in the 400-meter hurdles. Although his semi-final time did not qualify him for the finals, he continues his professional track and field athlete status, remaining committed to rigorous training for the next big event.
From Mableton, Georgia, he attended Pace Academy High School where he played basketball, managed the volleyball team, and received a technical directors award in theater for work as stage manager. He went to The University of North Carolina from 2014-2018 and focused on sprints and hurdles. He has amassed the following achievements: World Youth Championship competitor, USATF Champion, USA Junior champion, USA Olympic Trials qualifier, Pan American Juniors silver medalist, four-time All American, four-time NCAA Championships qualifier, three-time NCAA preliminary round qualifier, three-time ACC champion, ten-time All ACC, record holder at UNC, and received UNC’s highest honor given to an athlete, The Patterson Medal.
At UNC, he was elected to the Student Athlete Advisory Council to represent the track and field teams in regular forums to discuss issues pertinent to the success of the UNC Athletics program, such as its Life Skills programs, athletic department policies, conference regulations and other NCAA legislations that impact student-athletes.
His time with SAAC built a community among all the athletic teams while also promoting communication between administration, coaches, and students-athletes.
After graduation, Selmon went professional and signed a contract with Spider Korea (2018-2020) who sponsored his athletic program. Selmon shared the importance of being represented by a sports agent and the sudden death of Selmon’s agent three weeks before Olympics, a challenge he faced by necessity. He’s finalizing a new sponsor and agent agreement.
Not advancing from the semifinals was a great disappointment, however, he emphasized “the pain and grief of the loss was temporary, slowly rising after a few hours after the race.” He credits his strong and loving family and upbringing for the healthy perspective that allowed him to look forward and not back, to keep from mulling over the disappointment. He has a future ahead. He is prepared to continue his professional status in track and field as long as his body allows, and as long as it’s still fun
Selmon now trains full time with Georgia Tech Coach Nat Page and on the universities track facilities (most of the time). He coached alongside the Georgia Tech team, which is common that professional track athletes share the facilities of college teams. Page was alongside Selmon for preparation of 2020 Olympics, then on to 2021 games.
Selmon’s participation on five USA teams and two Senior teams were important preparation for the international stage of the Olympics.
Selmon also works at a local fitness center as a HIIT instructor and strength trains at the same facility
He and chapter Brother Carter Draughon, UNC ’18, have developed a social network platform called Stoke, a free platform where people connect to chat about Live TV. People can choose from a list of live events including sports, reality TV, among the many programs. Their mission is to virtually connect the existing communities that watch live sports, TV shows, and more. Stoke is available in the App Store and Google Play Store.