Birth and Adoption :
Maurice Antawn Chism was born on October 8, 1977 in Evans, GA to a young, single mom. He and his older brother lived with mom until a fire destroyed their home. The then 4-year-old Reese and 6-year-old brother, Lamont had been playing with a cigarette lighter. Reese started the fire that got out of control.
Weeks after the fire the teen mom did what was probably her last option. She drove her boys to the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Louisville, Kentucky.
Michael Reese Hoffa was adopted by Stephen and Cathy Hoffa, now divorced. They took Reese into their home 18-months after he was left at the orphange.
Reese Hoffa was a 2004 Olympic Team member. He was also in the 2008 Olympics and placed seventh in shot put.
He is currently competing in the 2012 Olympic games in London.
- His sense of humor.
- His size, 6' tall and 285 lbs.
- Being the "Unknown Shot Putter" when he surprised all and won his first state meet his junior year of high school.
- Metallica is his favorite band.
- Loves to solve puzzles. He can solve the Rubik's cube in 55 seconds.
- He can juggle.
Adoption Search and Reunion:
Reese was reunited with his birth family, including his mom and brother Lamont in 2000. They continue to build on their relationship.
Message to Foster and Adopted Children :
"For kids who have problems in their adoptive families, it's a bad situation. Won't be the same as with your regular family. It really will be the best for you. Learn as much as you can, hopefully, if your adoption experience is as positive as mine, it'll be OK and turn out positive. Take all opportunities put in front of you. If you're going to do it, do it with the best of your ability."
Read more about Reese Hoffa from Guide Carrie Craft's phone interview with the Olympic athlete.
Back to the Olympic Athletes and Their Adoption Connection.