fbpx

They emerged victorious at the American Taekwondo Association World Championship in Phoenix

We flooded out onto the streets of Phoenix carrying the Argentine flag together and waving it. Passing drivers honked their horns as we jumped and sang in the middle of the city. After so many years of rolling up our sleeves and fighting, we finally made history for our country.

  • 4 months ago
  • July 31, 2023
4 min read
On Friday, July 14, 2023, the Argentine national Taekwondo team won the gold in their categories at the ATA World Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. On Friday, July 14, 2023, the Argentine national Taekwondo team won the gold in their categories at the ATA World Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. | Photo courtesy of Team Argentina
Interview Subject
Agustin Spiess is a seventh dan Taekwondo and trains with the Argentine national team. Born in the province of Chaco in Argentina, he serves as a certified instructor, President and Hall of Fame inductee at the Songham Taekwondo Federation for South America, and is a member of the American Taekwondo Federation Latin America. Along with the other members of the national team, Agustin took all relevant exams to improve their dan classification. In Phoenix, Arizona at the ATA World Championships in July 2023, they were among 4,000 competitors from around the world. The team included Mauro Echezarreta, Santiago Aversso, Pablo García, Brian López, Florencia Ortiz, Valeria Aversso, Lorenzo Bondan, Milciades Mareco, myself as coach, and Eduardo Ortiz as my assistant.
Background Information
According to the ATA website, “Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee’s martial arts training began in 1953 and he received his black belt in 1954. In 1962, he moved from South Korea to the United States and opened a Taekwondo school in Nebraska. Seven years later, he formed the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), which quickly become the largest martial arts organization in America, boasting approximately 120,000 members and 800 schools.”
Today, active membership worldwide has reached 300,000. The site continues, “Although its roots can be somewhat traced back to ancient Korea, it is a historic fact that Taekwondo as an organized art is relatively modern.” The name Taekwondo became official in 1955. The sport spread internationally in the 1960s and is currently the most popular martial art in Korea, and ranks in the top in America.

PHOENIX, Arizona ꟷ During the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) World Championship from July 10-16, 2023, the team I coached took the world title in the sparring and songahmen modalities. The Argentine Taekwondo team stood out early, beating South Africa in the quarterfinals and Chile in the semifinals. For 12 years we chased the gold medal, shooting for the highest award in Taekwondo in the world. This year in Phoenix we finally achieved our dream.

Read more Sports stories from around the globe at Orato World Media.

Squaring off against the Americans in the final, the room went silent

Winning the 2023 American Taekwondo Association Championship felt epic. When we faced off against the United States in the finals, it seemed unthinkable we might beat them. They trained hard, prepared well, had substitutes and a world-class coach, but our Argentine grit, hunger, and passion remained unmatched.

Inside the competition arena in the convention center, the stands overflowed with Americans. During the finals, they cheered and celebrated. Having traveled from another country, we had no fans to cheer us on.

As we faced the closing matches, the two women on our team performed superbly. As the final bout unfolded, I sat at the main table, containing myself as a matter of formality. I felt my body constantly moving. Restlessness consumed me and I rubbed my hands together, clapping softly from time to time.

I cheered between my teeth as my chest burned. With each beat of my heart, I could feel victory. Suddenly, as I watched our fighter gain momentum, I shot out of my seat and shouted. I let out a fierce roar of pure emotion. My tablemates turned abruptly and smiled at me. I raised my fist and shouted, “Let’s go! Let’s fucking go,” and I ran to the track.

We flooded out onto the streets waving the Argentine flag

The tide was turning as Argentina took the lead against the United States. The loud crowd full of American fans went silent. You could cut the air with a knife. Then suddenly we won, and I felt tears falling down my face. “I can’t believe it,” my mind shouted. A flurry of thoughts ran through my head as I considered the effort it took to get to that point. An explosion of euphoria consumed all of us. For a moment, we stood frozen.

As we made eye contact, we erupted and started jumping and hugging like crazy. The boys took out a flag and began waving it. “We are champions,” we shouted, as we formed a circle and embraced. “We are champions!”

When the activities ended, we flooded out onto the streets of Phoenix carrying the Argentine flag together and waving it. Passing drivers honked their horns as we jumped and sang in the middle of the city. After so many years of rolling up our sleeves and fighting, we finally made history for our country. The prize and the recognition meant so much to us.

For me, Taekwondo is pure joy. It is what grounds me and serves as a foundation – the engine that keeps me going. During the most adverse moments of my life, it offered me a way out, delivering a constant source of happiness.

In front of four thousand competitors from around the world, and a roaring audience, the Argentine Taekwondo team translated our dream into reality. We became world champions.

Translation Disclaimer

Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.

#GlobalCooperationNow

Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.

HERE'S WHAT'S NEW:

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $200 OR MORE

NATIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $100-150 OR MORE
REGIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $50-100 OR MORE
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT STORY: PAYOUT: $25-50
Photo Gallery (10 Photos) PAYOUT: $25
Photo Gallery (20 Photos) PAYOUT: $50

TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY
JOIN US

Related