Hello taekwondo lovers.
Paige McPherson is an USA national team member. She won the bronze medal at London 2012 Olympics.
She is classified to Tokyo 2021 that makes her the very first american female athlete with three appearances in olympic taekwondo.
Paige started practicing taekwondo as a child. The way she started was completely focused on the more traditional way.
Start in competition
Learning poomsae, breaks, and not only focusing on sparring. In fact, she did not sparr to much. Until her instructor had the idea of taking her to a state championship.
She did it quite well. So why not go to nationals?
And for being someone that had never trained the sport way, she did it also a great job.
Even her instructor was not very involved in the sport side of taekwondo. He saw the potential of Paige. So he started to focus on her training and helping Paige.
He contacted Master Juan Moreno, from Peak Performance. And that was the way she moved from her hometown to the city of Miami.
Out of the comfort zone.
Obviously that wasn’t an easy decision. She had the support of her parents who even traveled with her one week in order to see the values and philosophy of Master’s Moreno taekwondo program.
For them, the performance was not the more important thing but the values. And they found what they were looking for in Peak Performance, which is more like a family.
Her first olympics were a whole new experience for her. Having special clothes, meeting other athletes and in her first fight she fought against the local star Sarah Stevenson.
Obviously all the crowd was against her but she won the fight. After it she could not make it to the final but she had the opportunity to fight for the bronze medal.
For many athletes that are focused on the gold olympic medal is very hard to recover and go for the bronze.
The taekwondo bronze medal in the olympics is a very hard mental challenge. You’ve lost the gold, you’re probably thinking more in going home.
Paige managed it and refocused on getting the bronze.
The Rio Olympics were not what she expected. But the interesting part is that she considers that difficult moment helped her to improve in the next years.
Next year she achieved her best result in World Championships in Muju 2017. Where she get the silver medal.
Focus on the tatami not on the surroundings
In the interview we talked about Paige’s career and she gave some advice for young athletes.
When she was young she had a crush on a certain guy and in a fight she noticed this guy was watching her fight.
So she started to do flashy things that she did not normally do in her fights and that make her lose. She learned to focus on her performance and not on the crowd.
Paige is a person of faith, focused on being not just a great athlete but also a great human being.
Enjoy the interview!
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Book recommended by Paige:
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