Steven Lopez is a 2000 and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and a 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist in taekwondo.
Preparing for the 2012 Olympics, Fit Celeb had a golden opportunity to chat with the Olympic athlete on behalf of Crest. After all, Steven has to have a winning smile!
Fit Celeb: How did you find your love and passion for Taekwondo? Especially the discipline.
Steven Lopez: Growing up, my father always loved Taekwondo, but never practiced it and instead got my brother into the sport. As a young boy, I always looked up to my older brother and wanted to follow in his footsteps. I started Taekwondo at age 5 where I began taking classes and competing in competitions. At first I was intimidated by the sport, but once the training began it became fun. Taekwondo is something I have loved since day one.
FC: Do you feel it’s more of a mental or physical challenge? Or equally both.
SL: I feel it is both a physical and mental challenge. Physically it is difficult to be able to have the balance and flexibility as well as perform moves that are not natural for the human body. Mentally, you need to be able to stay focused for different patterns and movements, especially during competitions.
FC: How do you stay focused and not let nerves get the best of you for such an “Olympic” event?
SL: In order to stay focused I need to build my confidence and in order to build my confidence I train 2-3 times a day. Also, knowing that I am taking care of my body and being healthy gives me the reassurance that I need to win. That is why I use Crest Complete Toothpaste to give me a confident, winning smile.
I have been practicing this sport for 28 years and after giving it my all physically, emotionally and spiritually, going out into the ring at the Olympics to me is the easy part. I feel that training is the hardest part, but after many years of competing and many months of practicing, you know you have done everything to train for this moment and you just have to go out there and give it your all.
FC: Do you or can you train for Taekwondo in any other way besides just practicing Taekwondo?
SL: In order to practice Taekwondo, I need to perfect and practice my foot work and train my hardest so that I gain the muscle strength to perform all of the Taekwondo techniques. I also do a lot of track work.
FC: How do you feel about being People Magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors”?
SL: I think it is definitely cool to be recognized as People Magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors as well as flattering, but I wouldn’t say that I use it as a pick up line.
We’re wishing you the best of luck in this year’s Olympics Steven!