Video: Terin Humphrey won two silver medals in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. She won one medal along with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team and the other for her solo performance on the uneven bars.
“It’s so crazy to just bring out my medals every once in a while and look at them and know that only six girls in the whole United States every four years get to compete at the Olympics,” the MCC-Blue River grad says.
“And I was lucky enough to be one of those six. I think now I understand that it wasn’t just for me, it was for the entire country. I am more appreciative of the experience now and I am very proud of myself and the team and what we accomplished. It’s just a dream come true and I’m actually getting inducted to the hall of fame. That definitely brings back a lot of memories of hard work and sacrifices from my family.”
Humphrey started at MCC because of her brother, a police officer who went to Blue River.
“He told me that he loved it here, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I think this a great place to continue your education,” Humphrey says.
Her brother is Sgt. Shannon Humphrey with the Blue Springs Police Department and also an MCC instructor. Sgt. Humphrey and all instructors at the Public Safety Institute on the Blue River campus are either currently employed or recently retired from active law enforcement.
“I teach the recruits and I also teach continuing education: defensive tactics, firearms and tactical aspects of policing,” Shannon Humphrey says. “I love having an impact on the future of law enforcement. Also, there’s a lot to this job. If you’re not continuing to maintain what you do and hone your skills then you’re going to lose it.”
Terin attended MCC after earning her degree in Alabama.
“I went to the University of Alabama. I got a full ride scholarship and I majored in criminal justice and minored in psychology, but still at that point I had no idea what I wanted to do,” she says.
“I kind of wanted to do forensics. So when I moved back I worked at a forensics lab for six months. I was sitting at a desk all day looking in a microscope. It wasn’t what I expected and I wanted to help people more directly.”
When she decided to enroll in MCC’s police academy, “I was a little nervous going in there, but I ended up beating everyone physically, on the push-ups, sit-ups and the running. In preparation for the physical test, I tried to train as I was training for the Olympics. I didn’t tell the other students in my class until after the physical test that I won in the Olympic games.
“Sometimes it’s good to be kind of an underdog. They were looking at me like ‘You don’t look like a police officer at all,’ so it is kind of a good thing to get out there and surprise them.”
After graduating, she joined the Raymore Police Department.
“I was a police officer for four and half years. I loved the street. I loved working traffic. That was probably one of my favorite things to do. I loved being a police officer, and if I could do it during the day, all day, every day, I would do it. It was the night that got to me. I struggled with staying up all night. Other than that, I loved my experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Humphrey says.
These days she coaches at Extreme Gymnastics in Lee’s Summit.
She also sits on the Olympic selection committee. The three members choose the teams that represent the United States in the Olympics.
“I’m part of USA Gymnastics and I have been since 2009. I will be until 2019. It is a different kind of stress. Instead of being out there in the morning or being a coach and watching your kids compete, it is kind of the stress that the whole world is watching you and depending on you to pick these great teams. In 2012 we did, we picked a gold winning team, and I am very proud of those athletes. I’m really looking forward to 2016 Rio Olympics.”
She is grateful for the decisions that led her where she is today. And she is happy that she received the education she did.
“I loved it here. The instructors were amazing. They help with anything you need and they are willing to help and go the extra mile. For me, MCC is an education that works.”
And MCC is so proud to have an Olympian among us.