Thursday, August 16, 2012

Master Cook interviewed by Univision for article on Taekwondo in the Olympics

Taekwondo star siblings Steven and Diana Lopez are poised to take home the gold

Four years ago, the Lopez family was America’s best-known Taekwondo contenders in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Not since 1904 had three siblings competed in the Olympic Games for a team, even less for one sport. The Texas brothers and sister were thus knighted as “The First Family of Taekwondo.” Steven and Diana both took home bronze, while Mark snatched up a silver medal. Big brother Jean served as the anchor and coach.
Although Mark didn’t qualify for London 2012 (he lost his spot to rookie Terrance Jennings, 26) this won’t stop the dynamic duo of Steven and Diana, with big brother Jean once again holding down the coach’s chair making the team a triple threat.

The four Lopez siblings and their parents with Don Francisco
The Lopez family are first generation Latinos. In the early 1970’s, parents Julio and Ondina Lopez migrated to the United States from their native Nicaragua escaping political turmoil. Julio, a structural engineer back home, found work in a clothing factory that manufactured Yankees clothing. Julio’s love for martial arts films led him to enroll eldest Jean into Taekwondo, with Steven following suit. Soon thereafter, the family garage was a training gym. Now the Lopez family runs their own Taekwondo academy in their home of Sugarland, Texas, a suburb outside of Houston. Diana is the youngest and only girl. Her indomitable and fearless spirit comes from her mother, Ondina, who has been known to not have finger nails because of all the nerves that come from her children competing in such an intensive contact sport.
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