Athletes from the U.S. Taekwondo Academy in Bel Air have qualified to compete at the 2013 USA Taekwondo National Championships in Chicago July 3-9 at McCormick Place.
This is the first step toward competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics, in which Taekwondo is an official sport. At Nationals, students from all over the country will compete in any of the following three events: forms (poomse), sparring (gyu-roo-gi) and/or board breaking (kyuk-pa). There is the World-Class division which takes athletes closer to the Olympics and the Grass-Roots division, which gives athletes an unparalleled experience.
The following athletes qualified to compete at the national level: Harry Agins, Sarah Arvey, Lesly Benitez, Nickolas Bowers, Breanna Curran, Glaciany Davila, Emanuel Diaz, Ruth Diaz Guavara, Erin Drumm, Erin Ferguson, Abigail Finley, Michael Finley, Abigail Fisk, Dillon Foy, Christopher Gamboa, Elizabeth Gross, Kyle Kacher, Pierce Lloyd, Francisco Loayza, Marina Miller, Carrie Motes, Spencer Pasion, Dominique Pecovic, Cole Putman, Daniel Radvany, Martin G. Radvany, Martin J. Radvany, Faith Sheaffer, Wade Sheaffer, Ricky Spain, Miguel Villatoro, Suany Villatoro, Jordan Wahl, McKenna Wolak, David Woo, Gene Yang, Richard Yang and Chu Ho Yom.
"As a former athlete myself making it to the U.S. National Team, I am proud to provide such a rare experience and opportunity for my Taekwondo students to become athletes in this Olympic sport," Senior Master CJ Chang of U.S. Taekwondo Academy said. "The improvement in both the physical and mental aspects coupled with my students increased maturation throughout their training and competition experiences have become crucial is their development in becoming true leaders who encompass not only perseverance but also humility. Coaching and producing National Champions 20 years in the making to date has truly been a privilege. I am truly blessed to be in the position that I am."
Grand Master Se Yong Chang, founder of U.S. Taekwondo Academy, said, "The evolution of Taekwondo from a true Martial Art form to an Olympic sport that continues to be perfected has become a great feat to witness as a Grand Master. With the continuance of Taekwondo in the Summer Olympics and our continued success as a country at the international level with a constant medal count every year, I am so very proud to be a part of this process. I believe everyone can do Taekwondo and the benefits of respect and structure are still evident in the Olympic sport of Taekwondo. Taekwondo has definitely become the most popular combative sport in the Olympics and it is a honor to be a part of that."
U.S. Taekwondo Academy (www.USTAchang.com) is a family-owned and operated Taekwondo chain with locations in Bel Air, Churchville, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, and Fairfax, Va.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun