Local teen wins taekwondo gold

November 23, 2009 Over the weekend, he competed at the Junior Pan American Games in El Salvador. And he won the gold medal.

The American team brought home ten golds, a silver and a bronze.

Up next for Gregory - the qualification tournament in Tijuana Mexico in March for a chance to qualify for the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore next year.

English, 14, is committed to being a good student. His passion is excelling in the sport of taekwondo. He started playing when he was only 5-years old.

"For you to win the first Youth Olympic Games, that's a pretty big deal as a sport that challenges athletes to do their best," English said.

"When he actually won the Youth Olympic Games, it registered rationally, but emotionally I think I was so overwhelmed I couldn't cry," said mom Jinnie English.

His mother says the sport has helped her son to focus, to be respectful, courtesy and to persevere. He trains every day for several hours.

"Once I made the Youth Olympic Games team, they told me that I need to train harder, so I can have a better chance of winning, to qualify for the actual Youth Olympic Games in Singapore," Gregory English said.

"It's to really develop him and get in preparation for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games," said Jinnie English.

"He's a nice young man, humble about his skills, but still confident in what he can accomplish," said Beryl Shingles, Morgan Park High School.

Gregory English has a message for others interested in sports

"Find a sport or activity that's best for you," he said. "And just excel at it. Do your best at it. And it'll just make a difference in your life."

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