Anastasija Zolotic hopes her gold medal heralds a new era in American Taekwondo

Tokyo (Associated Press)—— Anastasia Zolotic Was scheduled to take a taekwondo class she Father when she Was less than 5 years old at that time, and she love it.

soon she Telling friends and family she One day I will go to the Olympics.

On the day I arrived in Tokyo, the 18-year-old Zolotic Ended that glorious Sunday, rampaged in the featherweight competition, and won the gold medal she neck.

“I came here with confidence, ready to accept what belongs to me, I did it,” Zolotic Say.

While discussing she Since then, the first women’s taekwondo gold medalist in U.S. history has repeatedly attributed the credit to U.S. Taekwondo. This troubled management organization has been deeply involved in the past few years of former coach Kim Su and two-time Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez. Sexual abuse scandal.

Zolotic’s team is trying to usher in a new era in an often overlooked American sport, and she clearly intends to lead the way.

“This is a great organization,” Zolotic told the Associated Press. “I think this is a brand new organization. I am very happy to see what our future holds. I hope that in the next Olympics we will have more girls and boys, not just me and my teammates.”

Zolotic has a bright future in her Korean-born martial arts, which are defined by acrobatic kicks and usually feature exciting last-second scoring to determine the game.Although compared with other fighting sports, boxing or mixed martial arts, taekwondo is low-key in the country, but the United States has a reliable Olympic record of 10 medals, but Zolotic I firmly believe that Taekwondo is about to usher in a new era of growth.

“It’s better to have,” Zolotic Said with a smile. “I’m doing my best for this. I hope I can help Taekwondo as popular as it is in the United States. I think I can. I hope that in 2024, if I can go to Paris, win another gold medal, and then continue to honed to Los Angeles. Taekwondo will be spread all over the map by then.”

Any sport that needs a new standard bearer will be ecstatic to own Zolotic, who appeared as a typical fighting sports star in the Olympics.While showing off she Impressive athleticism in the most dominant game she Young career, she And let myself please myself from the floor she The combination of keen insight and cute arrogance.

when she The Associated Press asked if she It’s great to see that two-time British Olympic champion Jed Jones was eliminated early. Zolotic replied: “Well, I kind of hope to fight her in the final and become the one who defeats her, but others did it. For me.”

Zolotic often uttered raw screams before the game or between rounds. She said that she did this “to eliminate my nervousness while waiting for the referee to start-and then just to maintain my dominance.” “

Apart from keeping her toenails blue to match her lucky chest protector, she also doesn’t have much superstition.

After she underwent major surgery on her left wrist and was forced to train in the basement for more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic, Zolotic was eager to devote herself to the next Olympic cycle. She is taking college courses after graduating nearly two years early, and her goal is to create more history with the second gold medal.

But first, she plans to take her medal on a multi-continental trip, first to meet her parents-the family moved to Colorado Springs three years ago to receive Ana training from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Tampa Bay Regional immigrants-and then her relatives returned to Europe.

She celebrated her gold medal with her American Taekwondo teammates, but also had a FaceTime call with her mother that was not as perfect as her fight.

“She was shocked, screaming,” Zolotic Say. “I don’t even think she Achieved she Answered the phone. I looked at the ground, like, “Mom, where are you?”

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