Taekwondo kid: 'I just thought I was going to be a Power Ranger'
EUGENE, Ore. - Joel Garcia said his favorite TV show growing up shaped his future.
"I just thought I was going to be a Power Ranger," the 12-year-old Prairie Mountain School student said. "Then when this opportunity came up, I was just like woah - I had had no idea that this was going to happen."
Garcia has been training in taekwando since he was 5.
This past weekend, he competed in an international event in Arkansas, finishing third best in the world for his age group in sparring, a type of free fighting.
Garcia said that without his parents - his father Joel Garcia and mother Laura Cervantes - he wouldn't have stuck with taekwondo.
"At some point, I was just like I don't want to do it anymore," he said, "but my parents kept on pushing me and pushing me, so they're the reason that I'm actually going worldwide."
Garcia said earning the bronze medal took a lot of time, work and dedication.
"Endurance, perseverance - everything, because without that, you're not going to get that far," he said.
Garcia spends hours training each week, sometimes giving up other sports or time with friends to focus on taekwondo.
The dedication makes his parents proud.
"It's not going to be easy, there's going to be some rough times, you know difficult times," his father said, "but if you, if you stick to it, you'll get to where you want to be."