News Column

Exclusive Interview: Diana Lopez, Taekwondo Olympian

Aug. 28, 2012


Diana Lopez

Diana Lopez comes from a family of Taekwondo superstars.

Her and her two brothers, Steven and Mark, also are Olympians and hail from Sugar Land, Texas, but their family is originally from Nicaragua.

The Lopez siblings made history in 2005, when they became the first three siblings, in any sport, to win world titles in the same event. That happened at the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid, Spain.

Lopez, 28, represented the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympics. Upon her return from the U.K, caught up with the athlete to find out a little more about this Latina. What was the highlight of the 2012 London Olympics for you?

Diana Lopez: For me it was getting to spend more time and quality moments with my family! We created more memories and special times as a family. How was it living at Olympic Village?

Diana Lopez: The Olympic village is a place where amazing athletes of all different shapes, colors and sizes come together with one common goal. It's a great environment. Describe the camaraderie and rivalries among U.S. Olympic athletes.

Diana Lopez: When wearing USA in the back at the Olympics, these are your teammates. No matter what sport you do, you want the best for your country and well wishes for everyone competing. How does it feel to represent for U.S. Hispanics?

Diana Lopez: I love being a role model for every Hispanic/Latino out there. It gives me an honor to represent Hispanics, and I have pride and carry that pride with me everywhere. Describe how your family and cultural background have influenced, hindered or helped your athletic career.

Diana Lopez: Being a close Latin family has helped me become who I am as a person and as an athlete. I love the fact that we push each other to be the best we can be and have that love and closeness that gives us an edge. My parents have always been so supportive and still are! Tell me a little bit about your upbringing and family background.

Diana Lopez: My parents both came from Nicaragua in the '70s. Jean and Steven were born in New York and Mark and I were born in Houston. We were raised to love one another and be each others' best friends. We were taught to show respect and to always strive to be the best. How are you handling being a role model for Latinas in the U.S.?

Diana Lopez: I love being a role model for Latinas! Latinas are beautiful, strong and confident. What advice do you have for future Olympians currently training to represent the U.S.?

Diana Lopez: Have fun and there are no short cuts to being the best. You have to work hard and do all the little things in order to be successful! What's next for you?

Diana Lopez: Maybe Rio? I haven't decided yet. First step is to make the U.S. national team again in January and fight the world championships in Mexico next year.

For more information about Lopez, visit herathlete profile.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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