Teen takes some silver and gold

Eric Conroe, a 16-year-old resident of Oak Harbor and student at Oak Harbor High School, recently took top honors in Taekwondo at the 36th American Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games in Knoxville, Tenn.

The games were held over six days, welcoming over 17,000 athletes Aug. 6-10, and over 500 single elimination Taekwondo competition. The Junior Olympic Games are the highest venue in which one can compete as a junior (competitor under 18).

Conroe medaled in two divisions of Taekwondo.

He received gold in Olympic sparring, the fast-paced, full-contact fighting that debuted as an official Olympic sport in 2000. He also took silver in point sparring, a kind of fighting that emphasizes more control and technique.

Conroe has been training since his first lesson with Greg Woodward, second degree blackbelt, Taekwondo instructor and owner of Woodward’s Taekwondo Academy in Oak Harbor.

According to Conroe, Woodward has instilled in Conroe the values system taught at the Academy, the Tenets of Taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.

Over his three years of training, Conroe says, “Perseverance, self-control and an indomitable spirit have helped me to achieve my goals in the ring, but anybody can apply these and the rest of the tenets to their daily lives.

Eric would like to personally thank his instructor, Woodward Sabum, for his dedication to him and leading by example. He also extends a “big thanks” to his parents and extended family for their support.

Conroe would also like to thank the following businesses on the island that sponsored him: Soroptimists of Coupeville, Whidbey Music, Coupeville Auto Repair, and For Pete’s Sake.

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