Getting to Know Derek Kinkade

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - All month News Leader Nine's Taylor Barnhill is helping you get to know our WTVM anchors. From weather, to Sunday Sports Overtime, to his "I Challenge Derek" segments, it seems he does it all. Learn more about WTVM's renaissance man, and get to know Derek Kinkade.

WTVM may have a meteorologist named Bruce Lee, but there's only one weatherman who has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

"People get a kick out of it... No pun intended," Derek joked. "There are 11 belts in Tae Kwon Do and I started as a white belt and you have to go through ten others before the black belt so it took two years. For each belt we learned a different set of moves. There was a lot of repetition, memorization and it was a challenge for me to put together."

From "I Challenge Derek" to co-hosting Sports Overtime, our weekend meteorologist has shown off his athleticism. But did you know he actually holds a state title in one sport?

He recalled, "I just needed something to do so I joined the bowling league with some friends of mine and kept doing it year in and year out. And I eventually wanted to upgrade my bowling. My average was 190, which is pretty good. My highest game I ever bowled was 279. We always did pretty well but in 1999 was the best year because myself and my teammates won the state tournament in the team event so we brought home a state championship."

While Derek is very proud of those accomplishments, there is one thing from his childhood that is a bit embarrassing. But for the sake of helping us get to know him, he opened up about it, "I guess some people have a comfort thing for them. Whether it's a certain blanket or maybe someone sucks their thumb... But I wad sheets."

Yes, strange but true, Derek wads sheets. Since most of you have never heard of such a thing, Derek invited us into his home to see exactly what this strange task entails, "I'll start at a corner at the edge of the sheet and wad it up in my hands like this. And I'll put the excess in my wrists and let it go and when I reach the end. I start all over again."

Derek may not be thrilled about that quirk following him from childhood, but he does have a special way of embracing the past.

"I'm a very nostalgic person. I enjoy telling stories about the past, reliving moments or getting together with friends and talking about the crazy stuff we used to do. So its a no brainer for me to keep memories and that sort of thing," he explained.

And that's how he created what he calls "The Save Box", "I've saved stuff from vacations, high school, college. Something people may not know -- every time I speak at a school about weather or talk to a class for career day, if I get a certificate, or a note from a students or a card from a teacher, or pictures, I save all that stuff."

Even though Derek has excelled in many things throughout his life, weather has always been his number one passion. When he was four years old, he was glued to the television set watching his icon, James Spann from Birmingham's ABC 33-40 and has loved it ever since.