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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPORT BY SPORT
/ TAEKWONDO

Gold for Lopez a First for U.S.

September 29, 2000

For as long as he can remember, Steven Lopez has devoted his life to taekwondo. When he was 5, he would whine about getting up at sunrise to train. He missed homecoming, and the prom. He had nationals that year.

But he has no regrets--not now.

Lopez, of Sugarland, Texas, won the United States' first gold medal in the Olympics' newest official sport Thursday, just as he knew he someday would.

"It's just like I visualized," he said. "It's just as perfect as I had imagined and dreamt."

After being scored on only once in his first three bouts, Lopez had to come from behind in the final round of the gold medal match to defeat South Korean champion Sin Jun-sik.

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