“I’m not just an amateur”: the fastest 13-year-old player in the country hopes to get to the 2028 Olympics

HILLSBORO COUNTY, Florida — What did you do during your summer vacation when you were 13 years old?

Most were probably playing, hanging out with friends, or swimming. Not Kai Culpepper. She sets records and beats them.

“I’m not just an amateur,” she said.

It’s a big talk, but Kai has receipts and statistics to back it up.

“I am one of the best in athletics in my age group,” she said.

This summer, she set her personal best in three races, running 52.7 for 400 meters, 23.7 for 200 and 11.8 for 100 meters. Direct x.

“Everything I’ve done in the last seven years has really put me in the position to be a leader,” she said.

She is also a big inspiration for her biggest fan, her 10 year old sister, Corrie Culpepper.

“I see how Kai does it and I try to do it the same way as her,” Corrie said.

She is also making a name for herself in athletics. She brought home silver and bronze medals from the Flying Angels International Classic in Canada.

“If I’m ever really afraid to do something,” Corrie said, looking at Kai. “She always cheers you up and tells you that you can do it.”

And in the corner, their coach and father, Corris Culpepper, is cheering them on.

“There aren’t many kids who work every day the way she does,” he said, trying not to burst into tears. “She gives you everything she has and everything she does.”

Tsai’s ultimate goal is the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. The family’s ultimate goal is to one day see both sisters at the Olympics.

“We are praying that they will both be on the same team (4x100m) at the Olympics,” Corris said.

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