TOKYO (NEXSTAR) — Team USA made medal history in Tokyo on Sunday when a rising taekwondo star won the country’s first-ever gold medal in women’s taekwondo.
At just 18 years old, Anastasija Zolotic of Largo, Florida became the first American woman ever to win gold in taekwondo. It’s a moment that will go down in Olympic history.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. I think it still hasn’t hit me,” Zolotic said. “I’m trying to kind of process it all and kind of get into it but I think it’s just so unreal and something I’ve been trying to work for forever, and it just happened like that overnight – it’s kind of crazy to me.”
But that historic moment has taken years of determination and hard work from Zolotic.
“It’s everything I’ve tried to work for,” she said. “I mean, I moved to Colorado so I could get to where I am today.”
The teen from Largo, Florida made a phenomenal run through the featherweight bracket before her final competition – the toughest one.
“The gold medal one was kind of just tougher because it is a gold medal match. In the beginning I was kind of like – I feel like a little – nerves were setting in while we were fighting and it was like the wrong time to set in,” she said.
Zolotic worked through her nerves, dominating the third round and clinching gold to make Olympic history.
“It’s pretty unbelievable and it just shows anything is possible,” she said.
Zolotic also says she’s just getting started.
“I’ve never pushed myself to this limit that I did yesterday and honestly, just tells me how much more I have in my bank,” she said. “Yeah I mean this isn’t even – this is just the beginning.”