USA’s Olympic taekwondo team hold open training session at UEL

Members of the USA Olympic taekwondo team held an open training session and Q&A session at the University of East London last week.

Team USA athletes Paige McPhearson (pictured), Diana Lopez, Steven Lopez and Terrence Jennings attended the university’s sports campus in the Docklands on Thursday, training in front of members of the university’s taekwondo team.

Paige McPhearson, who is competing in her first Olympics at the age of 22, said: “People coming to watch us train is very inspiring for us - just being able to see people support you just makes you want to train harder and fight harder.”

She added that she had visited the university’s facilities before work was completed, and said she was impressed by the end product: “This is one of the best facilities in the world so I would definitely say take advantage of it if you live here.”

Shaun Short, who is president of the UEL taekwondo club, was one of the students who attended the Q&A session with the athletes after their training was complete.

He said: “Speaking to the athletes it’s great to see how down to earth they are, getting my team in to see them gives them something to aim for, I’m sure all of us are inspired to drive harder now.”

“Athletes of this calibre coming to this area definitely helps it grow as an area - it’s thriving because of what’s happening here. UEL is aiming to be the best university in London for sport by 2015 and this is going a huge way towards achieving that goal.”