London (dpa) - Few people in the Olympic Village would dare raise
their voice to the Lopez trio, the family from the United States who
knows every possible tactic in taekwondo.
Jean Lopez coaches his siblings Diana Lopez and Steven Lopez, who hope to add more Olympic medals to their family collection at the London Games.
"Sometimes they tell me I'm like a father ... I am father, brother and coach," Jean, 38, told dpa on Saturday.
His sister Diana, the youngest of the siblings at 28, swiftly added one more job to Jean's already long list of tasks.
"He is also a psychologist," said Diana, who won a silver madel at the Beijing 2008 Games in the 57-kilogramme category. "He is everything."
Steven - the winner of a gold medal at the 2000 and 2004 Games, as well as a bronze medal in Beijing - said having family around at the Olympics is a good experience.
"As a family, it is a wonderful thing. To be here with one's family is something that not many people can say," the 33-year-old told dpa.
However, there are some negative aspects too, with Jean noting that you also suffer when you see your loved ones competing for an Olympic medal.
"We get very nervous when one is fighting out there. Not because of the risk, but because we know just how hard we fought to get here," he said.
The three train together in the US state of Texas. Their parents migrated to the country from Nicaragua "to have a chance, a good life."
"That was the vision our father had for us," Jean noted.
Steven considers it a "miracle" to have so many members of a single family at the same edition of the Games.
"I thank God: we do the same sport and we are the best in the US. It is something that is going to stay in my memory for a lifetime. I'm going to tell my children, my grandchildren about it," he said, smiling.
Twelve years ago in Sydney, he competed in the 68-kilogramme category. But he then took the leap to the 80-kilogramme category, winning the gold in the Athens 2004 Games.
He is now hoping to surpass the bronze of 2008. His long-term goal is to compete again in 2016, this time in Rio de Janeiro.
"The truth is I feel so good physically... This is something I've been doing since I was a kid," Steven said.
Although having three members of one family on the same team is already unusual, the Lopezes will not be complete during the London competition.
Mark Lopez, a silver medalist four years ago in the 68-kilogramme category, injured his shoulder during the qualification process.
"But he is here with us. He has come to support us," Diana said.
The Lopezes have few rivals of their stature on the taekwondo mat and they are competing with clear shots at the medals, set to be handed out August 8-11 in their sport.
For now, they could well lay claim to being the most dreaded family in the Olympic Village.
Most Popular Stories
- GM Joins Nissan to Supply Small Cargo Vehicle
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- GM to Rejoin S&P 500, Akerson Says
- Kerry Concerned Over Blasphemy Laws, Anti-Semitism
- Ford's Supplier Diversity Program Turns 35
- Ford Trucks See Boost as Roadshow Reaches Saudi Arabia
- Ladies in White Group Needs Help From Abroad
- Darden Competition for Small Businesses Opens
- NTSB Wants to Lower Blood Alcohol Limit to 0.05