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|08-17-2016, 06:00 PM||#1|
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Sugar Land's Steven Lopez to compete in fifth Olympics in Taekwondo
This Friday is when one of the most well-known local Olympians, Steven Lopez, will compete in Taekwondo.
Steven, and the Lopez family from Sugar Land, have been dominant in the sport of Taekwondo for more than a decade.
Each kick, each step, brings Lopez closer to his shot at another Olympic medal. The 37-year-old, who already has three Olympic medals, is sparring and working out each day for his competition Friday in Rio.
"A lifetime worth of work and it comes down to a few days, or it comes down to a day for me. And I'm just really excited. My body is feeling good," Lopez said.
KPRC 2 caught up with Lopez, his coach and his big brother Jean at one of the U.S. Olympic training centers in Rio. Also on his team is younger brother Mark, who himself has a silver Olympic medal. He's Steven Lopez's sparring partner.
"I can tell you by holding paddles for him, holding equipment and targets for him, I can feel his strength definitely. He's looking great. He's looking at the top of his game.," Mark Lopez said.
Believed to be the oldest competitor in taekwondo at these Olympic games, keeping Steven Lopez's body in shape with acupuncture, ice baths, and massage techniques have been key to his training. But Team Lopez plans to use experience as well as skill and strength to earn another medal on Friday.
"He's definitely the oldest guy. But physically I think I've known Steven and we've trained together for 25 years. I think he's at his peak physically now," Team USA Taekwondo Assistant Coach George Weissfisch said.
"The fans back home in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, you guys have been there for me and my family since 2000. And I just ask for you guys to send me your positive vibes, your prayers, and great energy and I promise I'll go out there and do the very best to represent you guys," Steven Lopez said.
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