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Sarah Stevenson MBE - Motivational Speaker
4 time Olympian,Bronze Olympic medallist,3 time world champion and the most successful British Taekwondo athlete of all time. London 2012 athlete who had the honour of reading the athletes oath at the opening ceremony.A superb motivational story has highs and lows, in between success (including sponsorship by none other than Hollywood legend Jackie Chan) has come heartbreak with injuries and the tragic death in the same year of both her mum and dad, a remarkable lady.
Born in Doncaster, England in 1983, Sarah started her training at the Doncaster All Stars Taekwondo team. Her first tutor Master Gary Sykes is acknowledged as the driving force behind Sarah's success.Sarah started to make a name for herself in 1998, by becoming Junior World Champion at the tender age of 15, followed by Junior European Champion in 1999. Jackie Chan support,4th at Sydney Olympics at just 16…. First British Taekwondo World Champion, Sarah then qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, drawing the attention of legendary Hong Kong martial arts star and Hollywood film star Jackie Chan who sponsored her while promoting the film Shanghai Noon in the UK. As a teen she nearly took a medal in the 2000 Olympics finishing in 4th place, Sarah became World Champion in 2001, the first British World Champion ever.
4 x European champion, Athens Olympics, Bronze at Beijing Olympics,first Team GB Olympic taekwondo medal ever
Sarah has since become four times European Champion and World silver medallist in 2005. In 2004 she competed at the Athens Olympics once again performing well. in 2008, Sarah competed in the Beijing Olympics with the extremely well documented controversy that led to Sarah being eliminated in the quarter finals after the referee failed to recognise clear points scored. The decision was later overturned but with 10 minutes to prepare, Sarah was always up against it. Even after losing this match and injuring her ankle in the process, Sarah came back to win the bronze medal, the first ever medal for GB Taekwondo and become one of the most memorable athletes from the Beijing games. Consistently Competing at top level, losing parents from cancer, getting the MBE, reading athletes oath at the London 2012 Olympics at which she competed well……….and beyond
Not only has Sarah shown a consistent ability to compete at the top for a number of years, but has inspired many on and off the mat. She set up her own academy aiming to educate and train young, aspiring athletes across a range of sports. Just a further example of why Sarah is a true ambassador to Great British sport. Sarah’smost remarkable achievement came in May 2011 by becoming World Champion for the third time during a year of tragedy………….
Sadly in 2011 she lost her mum and dad both were taken ill with cancer and both gone within months of diagnosis, it is hard for people to comprehend how difficult 2011 was for Sarah as a year. however, she did not want to focus on sadness but the strength that her parents showed and which they passed down to her. They were determined, they were courageous and they were strong together and individually. Although they lost their respective battles they were never "Beaten" Off the mat, Sarah was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to taekwondo and was selected by her fellow athletes to read the Athlete oath at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.. She retired from competition in 2013 through injury and became a Team GB coach.
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