Three Cranbrook martial arts students have come back showing off their trophies after attending the Stan Witz’s USA World Championships.
Katelyn Cuthbert, 15, Isabella Atherton, 11, and Aaron Kim, 10, — students at Evolution Martial Arts Cranbrook — all competed for Team Canada in Las Vegas from June 28-30.
“When we first got there it was very scary,” explained Kim. “Then when we went and saw the ring it wasn’t that bad.”
Stepping into the ring was nerve-wracking for the athletes, but no less fun.
“I was like ‘let’s kick some people’s butt. Let’s do this,’” said Atherton.
As part of being with Team Canada, the group was able to have a practice session with the others on the team. Team Canada also was named ‘Team of the Year’ at the championships.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Kim about being with Team Canada. “It felt like I was doing something that meant something.”
Cuthbert says Team Canada was all like a family while at the tournament.
“All connecting with each other, doing our patterns, sparring with each other, training with each other so we would be all ready for worlds,” she said.
The Cranbrook athletes all had success at the tournament bringing home multiple trophies and medals for all their hard work.
- Cuthbert – Gold: breaking and continuous sparring; Silver: team demo; Bronze: team patterns, patterns and point stop sparring.
- Kim – Gold: breaking; Silver: team demo, Taekwondo Olympic sparring; Bronze: team patterns, continuous sparring and American open patterns.
- Atherton – Gold: breaking, patterns and continuous sparring; Silver: team demo; Bronze: team patterns.
“It’s speechless to be there,” said Atherton. “It was my dad’s dream to go, and I’m living it for him. I think that’s really amazing.”
Cuthbert and Atherton are both black belts, while Kim has his blue belt. They competed against athletes from all around the world including Korea, United States, Mexico and more.
Seeing all their hard work embodied in the trophies was something the team was really excited for.
“It was amazing to just look at it all,” added Kim.
At the same venue, there was also another competition going on and Cuthbert said it was thrilling to walk around showing off all the trophies.
“It’s pretty exciting and awesome. There was a beauty pageant and all these [pagent] people were coming by, and we were just carrying all of our trophies, it was awesome,” said Cuthbert.
With all the success comes the help from behind the scenes, which all three athletes said they couldn’t have done it without their coach Jenny and assistant coach Dallas.
Now that the team is back home, they have been busy practicing and gearing up for future tournaments, also with hopes of going to the world championships again next year. With all their success and the fun, they have had they have even recruited some of their siblings to try and compete in the tournament next year.