"We Are the Champions!!!"
Often times I tell athletes to not worry about the result, but rather to try their best, have fun, enjoy the competition, and accept whatever result they receive as the right result in the grand scheme of things. If you win, great. If you don't win, it wasn't meant to be.
That helps to take some of the pressure off of athletes who may feel that winning is the only success in competition. But let me just say that when you're sitting in the stands, waiting for a score to appear on the scoreboard that is going to decide whether your country wins a gold medal or a silver medal, ALL of that goes right out the window!
You and your teammates are clenching your fists, crossing your fingers, hoping for the score that is going to mean a gold medal. Then when it appears, and you realize that this is REAL, you explode with joy... Your team jumps up, screaming, cheering, and celebrating the ultimate goal in your sport: A World Championship GOLD Medal.
For the U.S. National Poomsae Team, that had never happened. Until yesterday, when it happened not once, but TWICE. And while I could sit here and write paragraph after paragraph about day 1 of the 7th WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships (that is, if we weren't about to get on a bus to go to the competition venue for day 2!), I'm just going to keep this short and sweet.
Congratulations to Noreen Thackrey, Claire Kim, and Jason Hwang on their gold medals! And of course, congratulations to Long Nguyen, Chantha Hao, Ryan Tucker, and Stephany Kim, who also did an amazing job on day 1, helping the US team to its best day ever at the World Poomsae Championships.