On National Women in Sports Day, our former D1 athlete Taryn Tempel reflects on her athletic career and how it will always be a part of who she is.
Question: What is your history with sports – when did you start playing, and what got you interested? Was there anyone who was particularly influential for you?
Taryn Tempel: I started playing sports at probably six years old and my interest mostly came from my brothers all being involved with athletics. I was very competitive with my three brothers and wanted to do whatever sport they did so that I could beat them. I did get to compete in mixed martial arts with and against them, but when I realized I couldn’t be on an actual team with them, I started exploring other sports on my own.
Q: What are some of your favorite sports-related memories?
TT: My favorite sports memory is from an event that I wasn’t even competing in. I have played sports my whole life but the most fun I had was getting to watch two of my brothers play football together in high school. Being a triplet and seeing my brother Greyson throw touchdown passes to my other brother Dustin was really special.
My own sports career, my favorite moment was my final Kansas Relays as a senior triple jumper at KU. It wasn’t the performance that I remember most but the family and friends that were there to watch me in that final meet. I will always remember that moment.
Q: Who are “your” teams?
TT: The only team that I have been a true fan of my whole life is the Denver Broncos. My parents and both of their families are huge Denver fans and so I was raised as a die-hard fan as well. Our family dog is even named Denver! As a former KU student-athlete and now alumni, I am also a Jayhawk fan at heart. Rock Chalk!
Q: When it comes to women in athletics, who do you look up to?
TT: Being that I am a retired athlete, the women I look up to in athletics aren’t the athletes but the broadcasters. I would say two tv sports personalities that I look up to a lot are Sam Ponder and Charissa Thompson.
Q: What advice would you give young girls who want to play sports in college and beyond?
TT: The advice I would give to young girls that want to play sports in college is that if you can be on a team in college, whether it’s as a walk-on or a full scholarship, take advantage of that opportunity. I met my lifelong friends from being a college athlete and I learned valuable lessons during those four years.
Q: What advice would you give to parents of female athletes?
TT: To the parents of female athletes, I would say to encourage your daughter/daughters to chase after whatever it is they dream of. My parents always told me that I could do anything and, because of that, I felt confident in myself to go out and be the best athlete and teammate that I could be. That same confidence has carried over into my life now as a sports reporter.