LARGO, FL — Largo resident Anastasija Zolotic proved that you do not have to be an enormous, muscle-bound bruiser to pack a punch.
On Sunday, the 108-pound 18-year-old walked away with an Olympic gold medal, the primary American girl to win gold within the sport of taekwondo.
Zolotic beat 18-year-old Russian Tatiana Minina 25-17 to make historical past.
Zolotic was already thought of a rising star when she entered the Olympics for the primary time after successful gold within the Pan Am video games and the World Taekwondo Junior Championships together with a silver medal on the Youth Olympic Games.
Now she stands in a category all her personal after beating Britain’s Jade Jones, who gained two Olympic gold medals, Korea’s Ah-reum Lee, who gained a gold and bronze within the Rio Olympics, and Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgum, ranked No. 2 on the planet.
Minina was ranked fourth on the planet when she went up towards Zolotic Sunday.
Zolotic, whose household got here to the United States from Yugoslavia, seems to be and acts the a part of a typical American teen. She loves hanging out along with her household and associates, boating along with her dad, going to the seashore, buying, baking and spending time along with her miniature pinscher, Cory.
“I also like to sing and dance even though I am very bad at both,” she joked.
Her mother, Dragana, works as a nurse and her father, Dalibor, owns a granite company.
She credit her dad and mom along with her success in taekwondo.
“My parents have been the most influential in my athletic career by pushing me to be the best and showing me that anything you put your mind to can become possible,” she stated in an interview for Team USA.
She was simply 8 years outdated when her dad and mom enrolled her in a taekwondo class, and she or he stated she immediately fell in love with the game, rapidly shifting via the ranks to obtain her black belt.
At age 10, she competed in her first main competitors on the Costa Rica Open in 2014, bringing house a silver medal. In the years since, she’s competed within the Spanish Open, the National Championships, the Pan American, the Luxembourg Open, German Open, World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final Moscow, Austrian Open, World Championships, amongst others, incomes a group of greater than 25 gold, silver and bronze medals.
Zolotic admitted to being a bit tongue-tied after receiving her gold Olympic medal after which going through throngs of media looking for a remark from her.
“It’s unbelievable. It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” she stated. “I just want the country to be proud of me, to share this flood of emotions.”