Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lopez Sibilings Teach Osterman Taekwondo? How so?

(Note: This story originally appeared on Please can someone tell us how Diana Lopez can teach Cat Osterman anything, when she did not beat Nia Abdallah? Please email Channel 2 News at and tell them to come visit the home of the real champion)

Cat Osterman is a force on the softball field. The Olympian is headed to Beijing in hopes of capturing another gold medal. But when the world-class athlete wants to blow off steam and learn a new sport, she goes to the best for training.Osterman recently went to the Sugar Land gym where Steven, Diana and Mark Lopez perfect their taekwondo skills. She invited KPRC Local 2 to her private training session where she learned the art of taekwondo."My uncle teaches taekwondo in Chicago, which is how I've gotten involved in all of it. But, I haven't taken that many classes with him," she said.

Jean Lopez, the oldest of the Lopez siblings, is the head coach of the U.S. men's taekwondo team. He said Osterman was a natural."The cool thing about being an athlete, it doesn't matter what discipline or sport you pick, if you're an athlete, you're an athlete. You have a better understanding of your body -- your awareness of it, and that you can translate those things into whatever sport there is," Lopez said.

Steven Lopez, 29, already has two Olympic gold medals under his belt. He enjoyed sharing a sport he loves with other great athletes."I think Cat did awesome. There's something amazing that I've seen in athletes that if you're a good athlete, you're a good athlete," Steven Lopez said. "And obviously, she's a great softball player."

Once Osterman learned a few kicks and tricks, she had even more respect for the sport."You have to focus on mechanics and stuff, too, but I feel it's more disciplined and straight focused than it is when we're out on the field and stuff," she said.

Mark Lopez, the youngest of the Lopez siblings at 26 years old, will be going for his first Olympic medal. He was also impressed with Osterman's skill."She's a natural," Mark Lopez said. "Her being an Olympic-caliber athlete, and softball -- that takes a lot of skill -- hand, eye coordination, it's a natural thing for her, it seems like. She seemed to throw every basic kick very well."

Osterman said it was a lot of fun, but harder than it looks."Working out with the Lopezes was fun -- something kind of different and they taught me some cool kicks and stuff, which is nice, because you don't want to be bored with the real basic stuff," she said."

After softball, if she did want to choose a sport, I think taekwondo will be perfect for her," Steven Lopez said.

The Lopez siblings made history when all three earned spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic taekwondo team -- the first time since 1904 that three siblings will represent the U.S. at the Olympics in the same sport.

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Anonymous said...

Clearly you won! You were robbed. What's the status of your protest to the NGB, USOC, IGB, and IOC?

Anonymous said...

Are all Taekwondo matches so boring?