Olympian to RPSO Deputy - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Olympian to RPSO Deputy

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - Nearly one billion people watched the Beijing Olympics. Athletes from all over the world went for the gold in the ultimate competition. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane has the story of one Olympian who lives right here in Cenla.

Here in Cenla 43 year-old Karoly Schupkegel protects and serves the residents of Rapides Parish as a deputy at RPSO. But 20 years ago he was a member of Hungry's men's gymnastics team during the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Summer Olympics.

"I was born and raised in a small rural area of Central Europe called Transylvania. I got involved in this sport, gymnastic at the age of 5," says Karoly Schupkegel.

Growing up in Hungary, Karoly saw a lot of his friends become Olympians which he says motivated him to never give up.

"Any kid that I remember having grown up with them, in their minds, their ideas, their thoughts, their dreams was to make it to the Olympics," says Karoly.

At the age of twenty-three, Karoly's hard work paid off because he was on a train heading to Spain as an Olympian.

"I think I could do it to. I know I could do it as a matter of fact. So those were the thoughts going through my mind definitely," says Karoly.

During Karloy's gymnastic career he won many medals, during many competitions, but never as an Olympian. But he always felt like a winner.

"It doesn't really matter if you get a bronze. I mean it's wonderful if you do, a gold or silver or bronze or place, but just being there is what matters the most," says Karoly.

Now when we fast forward twenty years, Karoly still enjoys going to the gym, staying in shape, taking every day one step at a time. He calls Pineville home and he works as a RPSO deputy.

"The transition from an athlete to what I'm doing today in my professional life. Absolutely enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed doing gymnastics, I enjoy being a sheriff's deputy with Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office," says Karoly.

Despite the life he once lived as an athlete, working in law enforcement was also a goal Karoly had.

"Culmination of my dreams and my hopes and my desires to give my best shot to work diligently with excellence for the community," says Karoly.

His co-workers are happy with the decision he made.

"All he ever wanted to do was become a police officer and so that was one of his big goals and he accomplished that goal and he's a good police officer. He's very dedicated, very hard worker, cares about the public he serves," says Tommy Carnline.

Karoly says every Olympian also does a service which is one reason why he loves to watch.

"Great time to where the whole world comes together in celebrating every four years, a great event. It celebrates the lives of those that basically work tirelessly for years and years," says Karoly.

Karoly says there are life lessons we can learn when we see athletes accomplish their goals.

"Just remember what you see at the Olympics, is you see a culmination of ones dreams and culminations of ones career just being there and celebrate that. They worked hard for that. I know they'll enjoy getting a couple or three claps out of ya," says Karoly.

Karloy has been living here in Central Louisiana for the past 18 years. He became a U.S. citizen in 2005.





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