Another sport from the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games is in the books! More than 20 athletes made the trip to Des Moines, Iowa to show off their skills in the sport of Taekwondo. There were definitely some talented athletes at the event this year and several of them were able to take home medals!
Taekwondo featured two new divisions this year: Creative Forms and Board Breaking. Several athletes were excited about the event and it was fun for everyone to watch.
The male Grand Champion of the Taekwondo event at the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games was Forrest Cunningham, 11, from Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is his second year competing in the event and he said it's "nice to say you went." Cunningham commented that he thought the new divisions were "pretty cool" and "creative" and his favorite event was board breaking.
The female Grand Champion from the event was Kennedy Pahl, an eight year old Des Moines local. This is her first time competing at the AAU Junior Olympic Games and she said it was "really fun." As for the new divisions, she said she liked having more of the board breaking and forms. Her favorite event was also board breaking.
Kennedy Pahl was also named one of the Joel Ferrell Award winner for the sport of Taekwondo in the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games. She is in the third grade and plays soccer and softball as well as participating in Taekwondo. Her previous AAU accomplishments include earning two gold medals in District Qualifiers.
Two male Joel Ferrell Award winners were also honored. Isaac Mock, 15, from Murphy, North Carolina received the award after earning four gold, four silver and one bronze medal in the event. His previous AAU accomplishments include a gold in point sparring at Nationals and receiving AAU Junior Olympic Games medals over the past several years. He also plays soccer, golf and basketball.
Matthew Puhl, 9, was the other male Joel Ferrell Award winner. He is a local from Des Moines and competes with Farrell's USMA. He is in the third grade and is home-schooled. In previous years with the AAU, he earned the silver and bronze in the District Qualifier in Clinton, Iowa.
Congratulations to ALL AAU members that participated in Taekwondo at the AAU Junior Olympic Games! We hope to see you again next year and for many more years to come!
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