Being an athlete who represents an entire country in a specific martial art is definitely an honor for anyone who works hard to become the best they can be. I have the privilege of being part of Team USA for Sanshou Kickboxing and I have earned the spot to represent the United States at the 2017 Summer Universiade Games in Taipei.
This is an opportunity that is not given to just any athlete; it is reserved only for those who have placed first in the national championship. This is an Olympic style event with Olympic level athletes.
Two weeks before the championship fight that would determine my fate in the games, I fractured my left rib during a sparring session. This forced me to stop using my left arm for a while and I had to keep my ribs covered with that arm to avoid further damage if I wanted to fight. It was a risky situation but I know quite well that without risk there is no reward. I decided to go for it and won the final championship match with that injury. Now, I have fully healed and I am ready for action with an entirely healthy body.
The next challenge is juggling my daily five hours of training, studies and work. Because of this I barely have time to socialize or take any breaks, but I understand that this is the price to pay for excellence and success in my sport. Those close to me have been very supportive, but I still need to handle a lot of expenses in order to make it to the games.
The athletes are entirely responsible for all of the costs for attending this tournament. One would think that certain expenses would be paid for, but the athletes have to pay the registration fee, airfare round trip, hotel and food. This concludes why your help is crucial to my attendance of the games.I am extremely grateful for every single person that helps with this important moment in my life regardless of how much they decide to contribute.
Thank you for your time, please contact me if you have any further questions.
- Kevin Coffman
- Scotti Stark
- Flavio Duarte
- Nadine Vandergriff
- Kelly Cho
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