August 2006 Athlete Profile: Kickin' It With...Jermaine James

Sept. 04, 2008, 12:49 p.m. (ET)
Jermaine James, 17, of Cape Coral, Fla., is fresh off his first World Junior Taekwondo Championships, held July 26-30 in Vietnam. James, a lightweight, won matches over Norway (2-1) and Denmark (4-0) to reach the quarterfinals before losing to the eventual silver medalist from Iran. He is a two-time Junior National Champion and trains at Remarck Sport Taekwondo (RST) under the tutelage of Patrice Remarck and Sherman Spinks.

Before leaving for Vietnam, Jermaine answered the following 10 questions for this month's USA Taekwondo Athlete Profile...

You will be entering your senior year of high school in the Fall. Do you have any plans for college or what you would like to major in

JERMAINE JAMES: I would like to go to college in Virginia to be closer to RST and train there full time. I am not sure about my major yet, something in the field of computer engineering. 

Q2: What's your future hold?

JERMAINE JAMES: Hopefully I will be a successful businessman one day, make lots of money, have a family of my own and still be involved in Taekwondo somehow. I guess whatever God has in store for me, I will be alright.

You won a gold medal at this year's German Open.  What did you learn from that experience that will help you at this year's Junior World Championships?

JERMAINE JAMES: That the international fighters are much more patient than most U.S. fighters. You have to really think in the ring and fight smart.


Q4: Your hometown of Cape Coral is the 2nd largest city geographically in the state of Florida. What's it like?

JERMAINE JAMES: It's one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., very laid back. Most residents are retired and were born somewhere up North. You wont find many natives of Cape Coral. But it's very pretty, close to the Gulf of Mexico, a tourist place with most houses sitting on canals. They call it "Venice of the U.S."



Jermaine with Coach Patrice Remarck

Q5: You've played both football and track in high school. What position did you play in football and what events did you specialize at in track? What were your greatest moments in each sport so far? 

JERMAINE JAMES: I was a wide receiver in football but didn't play long enough because the practice interfered with Taekwondo. In track I ran the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and the 4 x 100. I was the district winner in the 100 meter dash, running a 10.97 time.


Jermaine and his "biggest supporter", mom Sylvia  

Q6: What has Taekwondo taught you about yourself?

JERMAINE JAMES: That I can do anything if I set my mind to it, believe in myself and work hard. And to follow my heart and instincts, regardless what other people say or think. It made me more of a leader than a follower.



2006 German Open gold medalist

Q7: You've listed your favorite movie as "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle".  What did you like best about that movie?

JERMAINE JAMES: It reminds me of the adventure we had on the 4th of July in Atlanta before JO's, driving 30 miles one way just to find a store that sells fireworks at 1:30 in the morning. That's what you call true friends!



You've just made your first Junior National Team. What was on your mind at the Junior Olympic Trials in Atlanta? 


JERMAINE JAMES: That this was my last year as a junior and that I could do this, I did train hard and I was ready. If I make the team and go to the Jr. Worlds in Vietnam then I have achieved just about everything possible as a junior.

Q9: You seem to be a very versatile athlete? Does that help you in Taekwondo?

JERMAINE JAMES: Yes, it helps me with my endurance and weight, especially the running. You never have a chance to get out of shape. 



Jermaine with Steven Lopez

Q10: What are your goals in Taekwondo?

JERMAINE JAMES: To represent my country in the 2012 Olympics and one day be a national coach. I love coaching almost as much as competing........(almost).