Gulfport Father Daughter Anxious To Carry Torch

A father-daughter team from Gulport will be among those carrying the Olympic Flame when it passes through the coast this weekend.

Ken Combs Jr. nominated his daughter, 15-year-old Jourdyn, to take part in the Olympic torch relay. Each will get to carry the flame two tenths of a mile as it makes its way westward for the Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The Combs connection to the torch run is a story of athletics and inspiration.

"Jourdyn has always been an inspiration to me. And her family. And really anybody who has come across her. She's really an amazing athlete and I think she can inspire others by what she has achieved," Ken Combs Jr. said.

Dozens of impressive awards are among the achievements Jordyn Combs has earned in athletics. She pitched in a national softball tournament.

"This was in 1998, and I was the pitcher for this team. We were called the Bayou View Babes," said Jourdyn as she showed off a teach picture.

Her dad helped coach that team of pre teens.

"The bus ride there and back was pretty horrendous with a bunch of 12-year-old girls. But it was quite an experience," her dad said.

Jourdyn won a gold medal in the State Games. But she's something more than an outstanding athlete. She was born with just one hand. But that physical disability has never stopped Jouryn from excelling at athletics. It's that ability to inspire others that makes her Dad most proud.

"Jordyn was born with a birth defect to her hand. And at an early age, probably through coaxing through me, she developed an interest in sports. And really just right off the bat she excelled," Ken Combs Jr. said.

Along with her many athletic accomplishments, Jourdan also has torch experience. She carried the flame for the State Games last year. Now, she and her dad can't wait to carry "the" Olympic Flame.

"Nervous and excited. I know I'll be nervous when I get there. And I'm just real excited right now," Jourdyn said.

It will be another special moment, for a truly gifted athlete.