She kicked the competition to the curb at the Summer Olympics this year, and returned with a bronze medal. Now taekwondo Olympian and Sturgis native Paige McPherson is back in town visiting family and fans. And they couldn't be more proud of her.
Paige started taekwondo when she was seven years old because of her older brother. "I always wanted to be like him so he started I had to start," said Paige.
And once she started Paige says she became addicted to the sport. "The more I competed the more I loved it, I love to fight," said Paige with a smile.
But no one ever thought she would turn that love into an Olympic medal. "It took weeks and weeks just to believe it; it just was so big and so unbelievable," said Paige's mother Susan McPherson.
"It really just shows you that anything is possible as long as you put hard work and you're dedicated to it, and as long as you believe in yourself you really can do anything you want to," said Paige.
Paige is now a home town hero; doing radio interviews, signing autographs, and getting her picture taken, but to her friends and family she is still the same old Paige. "I am just proud of her, I'm proud of Paige, but I was just as proud of her before she was selected for the Olympics, before she went, and before she meadaled," said Paige's father David McPherson.
"She is a phenomenal student, she is so humble and it has never gotten to her head that she is better than anybody else and she is an amazing student and a person and I can't speak enough about Paige; we just love her so much," said Paige's former taekwondo instructor Bob Richmond.
As a home town hero, Paige says she wants to inspire others to fight for their dreams. "Just go for it, you only live once so might as well make it worthwhile," said Paige.
So for now she continues to train and work toward her goals. She says the next step is a gold medal, and this time there's not a doubt in her or her families mind that she will achieve that goal.
In a couple of months Paige will compete in Aruba for the world cup, which is a team taekwondo competition.