Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mark Lopez a.k.a. The Great One

June 25, 2008

Hello everyone, my name is Mark Anthony Lopez a.k.a The Great One :) I started taekwondo at the age of 5 and after 21 years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, I am on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team for the sport of taekwondo. You cannot imagine how excited I am to be on this journey to Beijing and be able to represent the United States of America at the greatest sporting event in history! The best part about it is that I will be taking this journey with my two older brothers, my little sister, and.....YOU!!

My oldest brother, Jean, has been my only coach and he was selected to coach the Olympic team even before I got on the team so it is just an added bonus. My other brother, Steven, is a two-time gold medalist in the sport of Taekwondo and the most decorated taekwondo athlete in the world. He will be looking to add a third gold medal to his collection, while my little sister, Diana and I will be looking to add an Olympic gold medal to our resume. We all made history in 2005 when Steven, Diana and I all won gold medals at the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid, Spain, where we were coached by our brother Jean. Never before had three siblings won titles in the same sport in the same year. We are hoping to repeat the three-peat in Beijing.

To catch you up a little bit, I made the U.S. Olympic Team on April 5 in Des Moines, Iowa. I fought against my training partner and good friend Chris Martinez. I won the match 3-2 and celebrated with my signature back flip on the mat. It was such a great feeling to have finally made the team. We then watched Diana’s match with great excitement and anticipation. Her match went into overtime but like a true champion she came out victorious in the sudden death overtime and was named to the U.S. Olympic Team making it a true family affair. I can’t wait to walk into Opening Ceremonies with my whole family.

I went to Sydney and Athens to watch Steven fight but to actually participate is a dream come true. My father (Julio) went to the last two Olympics to watch Steven but my mom (Ondina) gets too nervous so she hasn’t been. She made a deal with us that if we all made the team she would go. So my mom will be at the Olympics for the first time.

Probably the coolest thing that has happened to me so far is that Steven, Diana and myself were on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno show on April 29. I was more excited when my agent, Cecil Bleiker called to tell me that we were going to be on the show, than when I actually made the Olympic team. It made me realize then that all our hard work and dedication to the sport was paying off. My family and I have also been featured in AT&T commercials – two in English and three in Spanish – and in Hilton Family of Hotel ads. We have also been interviewed by numerous media, too many to count, but I am taking it all in and living every minute of this to its fullest.

I will be posting my blog throughout the next couple of months to allow you to take a peek into this exciting time and be a part of history in the making, so be sure to check back often. Diana, Steven and Jean will also be chiming in from time to time so you will have a chance to hear from all four of us. It should be fun.

Amazing Awaits!!

Mark Anthony Lopez
2008 U.S. Olympic Team

8 comments:

busybee said...

I'm sure that I speak for many fellow Americans that want to tell you how PROUD we are of all of you. I watched you and your brothers(and sister Diana), on the Today Show and I was impressed by your talent. Most of all, I wanted to tell you that the ATT commercial is totally AWESOME when you jump across the swimming pool. Congratulations and have some fun, meet new friends and kick some BUTT for America.

Val Carman
Decatur,Ill.
P.S. I basically sent the same message to your sister.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Mark Lopez said...

Val,

Thanks for the note and support of my family. We are looking forward to getting to Beijing.

I am glad you like the AT&T Commercials. We had a good time with them. It is actually my brother, Steven, that jumps the pool. I am the one that kicks the phone to him and also the one that does the flip off the counter, at the very beginning, taking the phone from my older brother, Jean.

Thanks again,
Mark

Miriam said...

Your team is remarkable! Making it to the Olympics is a huge accomplishment to be proud of. I imagine that making it there alongside your siblings is the icing on the cake. Your family is a great inspiration and example of the great things that can be accomplished by a family who sticks together and supports each other. Thanks for representing the USA!

sarcasticbear said...

Hey Mark & family,

Congratulations on making the Olympic team to all of you - it really is an amazing achievement!

I had the pleasure of seeing you fight at the Dutch Open in 2006 and also met Steven at the Olympic Qualifiers in Manchester last year.

You make it look so easy, though I know it's anything but! I've been training for over 11 years, but have only had the pleasure of competing a few times (Dutch Open 2007 being the last time). I'm currently recovering from a torn calf-muscle, but hope to be fighting fit again in a couple of months.

I'll definitely be watching you all in Beijing next month.

All the best from Scotland!

Andy Lawson
"House of Sweat"

Mary McClure (www.FortBendThinker.us) said...

Congrats! You inspire so many! I am featuring you all on my site, www.FortBendThinker.us also!

Jenny said...

Hey my names Jennifer, I've been in Teakwondo for about 6 years now. I started when i waz 5 and then i stopped when i waz 11, i stopped for about 2 years n i just started because i just love taekwon do, and what really keeps me going is you, diana n steven. All of you guys are amazing, i cant believe how far you guys have gone. I hope that when im 16, (2012) i will be in the olympic games. It really is an amazing sport, even if you do get hurt a lot, its still amazing being on the mats n doing your best to win with someone you dont know. You've probably never fought with that person but if you pay close attention, you;ll feel like you hav faught and that it will be an easy win, but out of everything, the traveling and practices and friends, my favorite part is standing there with a medal around my neck. I met you and your brothers n sister before in 2006 at the Jr. Olympics and I took pictures with you guys but i doubt you could remeber that. Well i hope you and your brothers and sisters come to the 2009 Jr. Olympics, and i wish you 3 a lot of luck, me and my team will be watchig you and cheering you on. And i hope to be like you and your brother and sister. You guys have really made me proud of being a part of Taekwondo. I know you guys will win.

atropos said...

Hey Mark, this is Rami from Saudi Arabia. I am also into Tae Kwon Doe, but unfortunately I stopped. I actually started at the young age of 6 in Virginia state at a gym called Mountain Kim.

When i came back to Saudi Arabia, my dad opened a gym over here, so I continued training there. Sadly I stopped in high school, only playing in a couple of local championships :(

LOL not sure if you are interested to read about my story, but I just wanted to wish you and your siblings the best of luck in Beijing! I will def be watching this blog and your matches :)

http://younggunner.freehostia.com said...

hi, i'm dylan from the U.K and i've been doing tae Know do for 21/2 years. i'm only 9 and i'm all ready green belt! I watched you lot in the bejing 2008 Olympics and you lot where brill!


my website: http://younggunner.freehostia.com