In a mighty first step on the path to athletic glory, red belt Raymond Reyes of Glenview proved victorious at the world's largest taekwondo competition. The 6-year-old student of the White Tiger Martial Arts Center in Wheeling came home from the 2013 USA Taekwondo National Championship with two gold medals, one in poomsae (known as forms) and one in board breaking.
Reyes has a bright future in taekwondo, according to his instructor, White Tiger Head Master Skik Lee. "Raymond has brought immense pride to himself, his family and our center," said Lee. "He is a determined competitor with superlative skills and a passion for the sport."
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More than 4,000 athletes competed at this year's national championship, held in Chicago, IL from July 3-9 and boasting Olympic-level training technology. The United States Olympic Committee recognizes USA Taekwondo as the governing body for the sport in the U.S., and victory at USAT's national level is an important step on the road to compete for the U.S. at the XXXI Olympic Summer Games, to be held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For young athletes under the age of 16, who are not yet eligible to enter Olympic trials, the USAT nationals serve as the highest and most prestigious level of competition they can achieve.