TAEKWONDO: April Athlete Profile - Kickin' It With...Chris Martinez

April 02, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
(For the complete profile on Chris Martinez, including photos, go to http://www.usa-taekwondo.us/624_1964.htm) On April 5th, Chris Martinez will be fighting in the final phase of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials for Taekwondo in the men's Olympic featherweight division. He will be facing top seed and training partner Mark Lopez for the right to represent the U.S. in Beijing. Martinez will need to defeat Lopez twice to earn the Olympic Team berth. Born in Denver, Martinez, 24, has honed his skills at the Elite Taekwondo Center in Sugar Land, Texas, under the tutelage of Jean Lopez and Paris Amani. Chris answered the following 10 questions for this month's USA Taekwondo Athlete Profile... Q1: You were born in Denver but live near Houston. Does that make you a Denver Broncos fan or a Houston Texans fan' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Well, I'm always down to talk some mess for both teams, but if I had to pick one then I guess it would be the Texans. 2002 was my first year in Houston and that happened to be the first year of the Texans franchise so we have a little history together. Q2: Do your competitive attributes come from your upbringing' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Yeah, for sure. I grew up with 3 older brothers and they were crazy. My father taught us how to wrestle at an early age, so at times we would be put into our rooms and were told that we had 2 minuets to go at it. =) Q3: What are your favorite foods' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Steak. I appreciate the different cuts of meat. My favorite is the Porterhouse, the bigger the better. My dream is to try and take down the 76-ouncer at the Big Texan in Amarillo. Q4: Do you own any pets' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Not now, but when I do I plan on having something exotic like a jaguar or a hippo. Q5: What is it like to train at Elite Taekwondo Center in Houston with world and Olympic champions' CHRIS MARTINEZ: It's cool. We all get along really well, and all of us really do care about one another, that's why we are all so successful. Q6: Do you have, or are you pursuing, a college degree' If so, what are you majoring in (or plan to major in) and what do you hope to do with it' CHRIS MARTINEZ: I work and train full time right now, but I plan on finishing very soon. I want to do something with education, but I only want to teach as a professor at a university. Q7: Do you ever long for the cold weather of Colorado' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Not at all. I know Colorado has all four seasons and it is very pretty, but all I can remember is walking home form school in the snow, uphill...no for real. Q8: Are you a big reader of the classics' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Not really, I'm more of a self-help reader. Q9: What's your favorite movie of late' CHRIS MARTINEZ: Mr. Brooks. It's kinda crazy but that's how I see myself struggle with my inner bad guy. Q10: What do you consider to be your most memorable moment in the sport of Taekwondo' CHRIS MARTINEZ: I have a lot to be proud of, but I'm not satisfied yet. Maybe its better to ask me that in 5 years. ###