Spain Wins Bronze in Taekwondo
Bumping Into Athletes While Awaiting Media Accreditation
My adventure at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore continues. I am still waiting for my media accreditation, but I've been assured that my application is being fast-tracked. I should be able to gain access to the venues and athletes very soon!
For now, I have to rely on luck to catch up with athletes outside of the venues. Of course, it helps that the athletes are often dressed head to toe in his or her country's uniform!
That was how I nabbed an interview with Nagore Irigoien of Spain in the lobby of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Once I spotted her, I scrambled to get my notebook and pen from my dad's backpack. I then ran after her and introduced myself.
Nagore, 17, comes from Bilbao, Spain. She placed 3rd in the 63kg Taekwondo competition the night before—a bronze medal at the first-ever Youth Olympic Games! Not too shabby! No wonder she and her family were smiling so big when I snapped their picture!
Taekwondo is an ancient art. Its origins can be traced back 2000 years in Korea. Its name literally means "The Way of Kicking and Punching," which sounds sort of random and wild. However, the practice of Taekwondo involves an enormous amount of technique that takes athletes years to develop.
"I've been doing Tawkwondo for 10 years," Nagore said. "I’ve been competing for the last five years. Of course Taekwondo isn't as popular as football or basketball in Spain, but it's a great success nonetheless."
Nagore competed in Mexico earlier this year to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. With her final competition now over, she can relax a little. I asked her what she was able to do in Singapore so far besides competing. She was quick to mention the Singapore Flyer, the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world! It’s nearly 550 feet tall.
Her spirits are also flying high after her Bronze medal win. Congratulations, Nagore!
PHOTO: Nagore Irigoien (center) of Spain celebrates her bronze medal win in Taekwondo with her family and friends. (Photo Courtesy Charlotte Samson)