At the 2008 Bejing Olympics, siblings and USA National Team Members Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez represented the United States in Taekwondo. It marked the first time since 1904 that three siblings have been on the same Olympic team. The Lopez siblings have all earned medals in past Olympics and Taekwondo World Championship competitions.
Making it to the USA Taekwondo National Team and competing in the Olympics is a lofty goal for athletes, but perhaps training with siblings add support during the ups and downs of competitions and strengthens the perseverance needed for the journey.
At Monterey Bay Taekwondo Academy, we have our own sibling National Team (and Olympic) hopefuls, too!
Of the 13 members of Team MTA headed to the USA Taekwondo National Championships this week, 10 are siblings.
From left Jaiden, Josiah Russell and Jose, Jonathan Carreno at the June 2014 Promotion Test. Jaiden and Josiah were there to support their younger siblings, and Jose and Jonathan cheered on their cousins testing for their next color belt promotion. All in the family! Photo by Lola Jane
Pictured above from left are Jaiden and Josiah Russell and Jose and Jonathan Carreno. The Russell and the Carreno brothers have all medalled in past state level taekwondo competitions (California and Nevada), as well as many Bay Area Taekwondo competitions.
Jaiden, 11 years old (competing in the 10-11 YOUTH division) and Josiah, 12 years old (competing in the 12-14 CADET Division) both placed first winning gold medals at the 2011 California State Taekwondo Championships. Jaiden also won the gold medal at the 2014 Nevada State Taekwondo Championships.
Jose, 13 years old (competing in the 12-14 CADET division) and 9-year-old Jonathan (competing in the 10-11 YOUTH division) both placed first winning the gold medal at the 2013 Northern California State Championships. The Carreno brothers recently tested for and earned their black belts.
The rest of the siblings representing Team MTA are:
Tesha and Ethan Nowak
Tesha, Sharon and Ethan at June 2013 Stripe Test. Photo by Lola Jane
Tesha Nowak at left and Ethan Nowak at right pictured last June with their little sister, Sharon, after their Stripe Test.
Tesha, 10 years old (competing in the 10-11 YOUTH Division) and Ethan, 9 years old (competing in the 8-9 NINJA Division) have since tested for and earned their black belts, and both have medalled in Bay Area Taekwondo competitions.
Read about Tesha’s Gold Medal win at the Santa Cruz Open Taekwondo Championships held in March, 2014.
Tesha Nowak at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Ethan Nowak at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Jun-Yong (“Jun-Jun”) and Gabriel Brown
Photo of Jun and Gabriel by Mr. Ricky Cabalza, www.out2focus.com
Nine-year old Jun-Jun (competing in the 10-11 YOUTH Division) recently tested for and earned his black belt. He won a bronze medal at the 2013 Northern California State Taekwondo Championships.
Seven year old Gabriel (competing in the 6-7 DRAGON Division) won the bronze medal for his age and division at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships.
Both Jun-Jun and Gabriel have competed in San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area Taekwondo competitions.
Jun-Yong Brown at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Gabriel Brown at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Kendall and Sherman Myers
Sherman and Kendall Myers after competing at the April 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Vernon Myers
Nine year old Kendall (competing in the 8-9 NINJA Division) and twelve-year-old Sherman (competing in the 12-14 CADET Division) recently tested for and earned their black belts.
Both Sherman and Kendall competed at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships and earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively for their age and division. Both have medalled in Bay Area taekwondo competitions.
Sherman Myers at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Kendall Myers at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Hugh Rutherford, Angel Cruz Lopez and Matthew Bartlett round out our team of 13.
Mr. Hugh Rutherford (center) at the cross-training event with America Taekwondo Center.
Photo above: Hugh Rutherford speaks to Coach Jackson from America Taekwondo Center at a recent cross training event (Mr. Terry Tran assists with scoring system).
Mr. Rutherford, 23 years old and (competing in the 18-25 SENIOR Division) received a gold medal from the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships.
Angel Cruz Lopez
Angel Cruz practicing forms at Monterey Bay Taekwondo Academy dojang. Photo by Lola Jane
Angel Cruz Lopez, 13 years old (competing in the 12-14 CADET Division), won the bronze medal at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships.
At the May, 2014 Tiger Claw championships in San Jose, he showed his toughness and skill while fighting a considerably taller (and bigger) opponent, earning respect and cheers from the crowd gathered to watch the match. Angel also placed 2nd in the event’s Poomsae Competition – the form and more artful aspect of taekwondo.
Angel Cruz at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Angel Cruz at cross-training session with America Taekwondo Center. Photo by Lola Jane
Matthew Bartlett with Coach Yates at the 2014 California State Taekwondo Championships. Photo by Mrs. Sophia Lee
Seven year old Matthew Bartlett competed at the 2014 California State Championships in April, winning a bronze medal for his age and division. He has also competed in and medalled in Bay Area competitions. At Nationals, he competes in the 6-7 year old DRAGON Division.
Matthew’s brother, Kenny is also a member of Team MTA and perhaps by next year, we will have more than 10 sibling teams competing at State level and national level championships!
- MTA Alum Melissa Marzan will also compete this week, as well as student Pearl Chavez, competing this year for Tigers Taekwondo (her Taekwondo home prior to her family’s move to the Monterey Bay Area).
- At USA Nationals and State level competitions, competitors fight at division age levels they will be by December 31st (a bit of a disadvantage for those born in the latter part of the year, as is the case with Mr. Terry Tran when he competed in the 18 to 32-year-old division when he was still 17 years old).
The 2014 USA Taekwondo National Championships starts today and concludes on July 7, 2014. The event venue is the San Jose Convention Center.
If you would like to attend the event, please visit the USAT website and click on the calendar section / USAT National Championships (or see Mr. Cabalza or Master Kim at the office and to learn the days that Team MTA members are competing).
Master Lee as well as Mrs. Sophia Lee will be at the convention center for most of the week (and weekend) to coach and support Team MTA competitors!
GO TEAM MTA!!!
And to learn more about the (Olympic and World Taekwondo Champions) Lopez siblings and their amazing taekwondo family, click on this article from The Huffington Post (First Family of U.S. Taekwondo at 2012 Olympics).
2014 California State Taekwondo Championships — the biggest state-level taekwondo competition in the U.S. Athletes competing in the USA National championships must have competed in state level championships. Read about Team MTA’s California state-level experience, here and visit MTA Facebook, here.
More Team MTA related post