Although taekwondo first appeared as a demonstration in the 1988 Olympics, it didn’t become a full medal sport until 2000. Since that time Team USA has taken home two Olympic gold medals in taekwondo—until this year. With her win, teen Anastasija Zolotic becomes the first woman to win Gold in taekwondo. This win adds a third to Team USA’s overall gold in taekwondo since becoming an official medal sport.
Team USA’s Anastasija Zolotic Wins Olympic Gold in Taekwondo
In a 25-17 upset on Sunday, Anastasija Zolotic beat Russian athlete Tatiana Minina, claiming gold and the featherweight division title.
According to an Associated Press report, Anastasija has been telling friends and family—since childhood—that she would be an Olympic champion. In an impressive move from dream to reality, it only took her one Olympic trip to make that happen.
“My 8-year-old self was running around the school yard saying I was going to be Olympic champion but she could never have imagined what this moment is like,” Zolotic said. “It’s unbelievable. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.”
According to ESPN, both Zolotic and Minia had a high scoring first round and played the second round tactically. However, by the third round Zolotic “picked apart her Russian opponent with two-point body kicks.” This helped secure the win for the finalist, after heading into the final round with a one-point lead.
“Isn’t that amazing? I’m just glad I can do something to raise its profile in the US,” Anastasija said. “I just want the country to be proud of me, to share this flood of emotions.”
Congratulations Anastasija Zolotic and Team USA for this historic win.