This week the Motivated Martial Artists Jackson White and Gavin Cook talk to Taekwondo four-time Olympian and Britain’s first ever Olympic medallist, Sarah Stephenson MBE.
Sarah started her training at the Doncaster All Stars Taekwondo club at the age of 7 years old joining her brother who had been a regular at the club for years. At first Sarah was quiet and shy initially struggling to keep up with the other 'stars' of the class, BUT Sarah stuck through it trusting and taking advice from her coach and her family until after some time she started to see major improvements and found a love for the sport.
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. Sarah then qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. As a teen she nearly took an Olympic medal in 2000, finishing 4th. Sarah became World Champion in 2001, the first British World Champion ever.
Sarah competed at 4 Olympic Games from Sydney to London, and in Beijing in 2008 became the first ever British Taekwondo medallist, winning the bronze medal. She is a 3 times world Champion and 4 times European Champion.
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.
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 retired from competition in 2013 through injury and became a Team GB coach Having served as the Athlete representative on the World Taekwondo Executive Council from 2013-2016, Sarah is now the British Taekwondo President and plays a Team Manager role for the Cadets having been a GB Coach from 2013-2015.
Sarah 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.