Stimson Middle School seventh grader Preston Park received one gold and two silver medals in the 2022 U.S. Olympic Committee/U.S.A. Tae Kwon Do Poomsae Grand Slam 20.0 in Colorado.
The competition occurred January 14-16, where Park won a gold medal in Cadet Pair Recognized Poomsae, a silver medal in Cadet Male Individual Recognized Poomsae, and another silver medal in Cadet Male Team Recognized Poomsae.
Poomsae, or patterns, are a set sequence of movements that consists of the various fundamental stances, blocks, punches and kicks arranged in a meaningful order in response to attacks. Park has practiced Tae Kwon Do for nearly seven years and has participated in several competitions. This passion started when his father first brought him into Tae Kown Do, and in his first tournament he won three gold medals.
“I think that’s what started me off for competing and doing TaeKwonDo,” Park said.
This year’s Grand Slam was Park’s first in-person competition. It was nerve-wracking, and even though competing was tough amongst other talented athletes, he stayed as confident as he could.
After winning those medals, he felt proud, especially because he only has one more year left in that division.
“It's a good experience for me to compete more and compete at a higher level,” Park said.
In the future, there are multiple state championships he has the ability to compete in amongst those with ranking points and currently, he is ranked number one. Preston will compete in the 2022 World Tae Kwon Do Poomsae Championships in Goyang, South Korea in April 2022. Preston will also compete in the Cadet Individual Recognized Poomsae for the spot of TEAM USA National Team Trials on February 18 - 20, 2022, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Great work and good luck, Preston!