Taekwondo

Mar 07 TAEKWONDO: The Lopez Family takes the Couch on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Tuesday, April 29

April 28, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
BOUND FOR THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES, THE 'FIRST FAMILY' OF TAEKWONDO TAKES THE COUCH ON NBC'S 'THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO' ON TUESDAY, APRIL 29 BURBANK-April 28, 2008-Dubbed the"First Family"of Taekwondo, siblings Jean, Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez are all bound for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China (to be broadcast exclusively on NBC Universal) -- and with 100 days until Opening Ceremonies, they will take to the couch on"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"(Monday - Friday, 11:35 p.m. - 12:37 a.m. ET on NBC). On Tuesday, April 29, the Lopez family of Sugar Land, Texas will talk to Leno about their passion for the sport and how it feels to bring sibling rivalry to a whole new level. The Lopez family is already in the history books when they all won World Championship titles in 2005, a feat no other family has ever accomplished. Now they are making history again by becoming the first family to have three siblings competing on the same U.S. Olympic Team since 1904, plus being the first to also have four family members at the same Olympics in the same sport. Steven, Mark and Diana will be competing under the guidance of their older brother Jean Lopez who will be serving as the head coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Taekwondo team, a role he also served at the 2004 Olympic Game in Athens, Greece. When his father enrolled him in a local Taekwondo school, little did Jean Lopez know that the sport would become a family passion. He was the first in the family to get involved with the sport and over the years, he has been a mentor and coach for his younger siblings. Steven Lopez is the most recognizable athlete in the family and in the sport of Taekwondo. Not only was he the first person to win an Olympic gold medal for Taekwondo (the sport was not a full medal sport in the Olympics until 2000), he is now a consecutive Olympic gold medalist, taking home the prize again in 2004. He will be looking for his third straight this summer in Beijing. The two youngest Lopez siblings are Mark, who began the sport when he was 5-years-old, and sister Diana, who sites brother Steven as her favorite athlete. They make the 2008 games a family affair and create another piece of history as they join their older brother on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Other guests on the April 29 show include Dr. Phil McGraw and musical guest Natasha Bedingfield. As previously announced, NBC Universal will present more than 3,600 hours of coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the most ambitious single media project in history and more than the combined total of every Summer Olympics ever televised in the United States. The Beijing Olympic Games will begin August 8, 2008, with unprecedented around-the-clock coverage and, for the first-time ever in the U.S., live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage on NBCOlympics.com."The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"is from Big Dog Productions in association with Universal Media Studios. Debbie Vickers is the executive producer. For artwork from"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,"please visit the NBC press website at www.nbcumv.com. CONTACTS: Tracy St.Pierre, NBC Entertainment Publicity, (818) 840-3648, tracy.stpierre@nbc.com Cecil Bleiker, Lopez Family Manager, (719) 330-2062, cbleiker@yahoo.com Ann Bleiker, Lopez Family Manager, (719) 330-4293, ableiker@yahoo.com Bill Kellick, USA Taekwondo, (719) 866-3626, bill.kellick@usa-taekwondo.us
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