Kathryn Tian Takes Home Gold and Silver Medals at WAKO Junior World Championships

By David Li, translated by Tong Chen, bostonese.com

Boston, Oct. 2, 2014, — When Kathryn Tian moved to Studio City in Southern California from Boston at end of last year, she didn’t expect that she would be selected to USA Karate and Boxing National Team in April 2014, and win gold and silver medals for Team USA just a few months later.
Tian holds the trophy with her coach Christine Bannon-Rodrigues after winning gold medal (photos provided to bostonese.com).

The World Association of Kickboxing Organization(WAKO) Cadets & Juniors World Championships took place in Rimini, Italy from Sept. 6 to 14. In total, 2,056 enthusiastic athletes from 60 countries gathered together to show the power of the youth. Tian, a 10th grader, won a gold medal in Weapon category and a silver medal in Karate category.

According to Tian’s mother Ms. Yi Qian, most Asian athletes were absent from this event as the Asian Games being held in South Korea. Tian’s opponents were mostly athletes from Russia and Canada.

But the absence of Asian athletes didn’t make the match easier. Tian lost the gold medal to the Russian athlete during the Karate final. Holding a sword in one hand and a nunchakus in the other, Tian won the gold medal in Weapons.

Wrapping an American flag over her shoulders, Tian listened to the national anthem at the award ceremony with a big smile on her face. Tian was also awarded the title of “Best Athlete” in the championships. Among the seven Best Athlete recipients, Tian was the only American.

She gained supports from a lot of Chinese people at the event. While standing at the podium, Tian felt that she was not merely representing the U.S. but also China, where her grandparents live. She felt very happy when some committee members used Chinese to congratulate her. Tian thanked them in Chinese and appreciated their Chinese language skills.

Tian had learned Chinese at Cambridge Center for Chinese Culture(CCCC) for a few years. She has also achieved many awards in essay contest in Chinese Language. At CCCC’s 20th anniversary celebration ceremony, Tian gave a speech in Chinese as a student representative.

She wrote in one of her Chinese essay: “In last two years, I have taken nine Tae Kwon Do and Karate world championships. Those titles not only brought me glory, but also taught me that success is not gained from luck or reputation of coaches, but from firm belief and endeavor. It also taught me to use ‘smile’ to face all challenges and envies.”

Espen Lund, WAKO acting president, was very excited to see the outstanding performances from young athletes like Tian. He wrote:”WAKO have a great future! May I congratulate all the athletes and the medalists in particular. When seeing the faces of victory and the joy of winning, I get proud. When observing the dissapointment in their losses, whether is in the final or in the eliminiations, I get emotional and it shows the dedication and the love for the sport, even for 10 year old cadets. My advise for all those who are dissapointed – learn from it. It will make you a winner. You are all winners as you all show sportsmanship.”

Tian misses her classmates and friends in Boston area and hopes to go back to Boston for college. We are looking forward to more exciting news from this determined girl with beautiful smiles.