16-year-old Melanie Phan, of Vancouver, was another of the bronze medal winners in taekwondo at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. When I met her before the competition, she talked about what motivates her.
Here is Melanie Phan, in her own words:
“What I like about taekwondo is that I learn something new everyday. It’s a challenge sometimes, but you get over it and you keep beating yourself.”
“The most important thing for me is to always move. Sometimes I get tired and I want to give up, but I know I always have to move no matter what. Even if I can’t kick, I keep moving and keep making them miss and jamming in. When I see the opportunity, that’s when I go.”
“I started taekwondo when I was 8 years old and my dad put me in mainly for self-defence but I saw the sparring side and I loved it even more.
“My role model in taekwondo is Ivett Gonda. She’s a two-time Olympian and I look up to her and I follow her steps.”
“I qualified to get to the Youth Olympic Games by preparing for it extra hard, and focusing and visualizing everyday how I was going to qualify – and that brought me one step closer each day.”
“It means so much because I’ve been dreaming about it. I didn’t find out there was a Youth Olympic Games till about 2 years ago and that’s when I really pushed it and focused really hard, and I started counting down every day. I clearly remember when there were 100 days left, I got really excited for the Games.”
I spoke to Melanie for a profile I was shooting for the Olympic News Channel. Someone shot the piece as they watched it on TSN in Canada, and posted it on Youtube. What a world! Here’s the he Youtube post: