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Red Deer athlete looks back on year full of accomplishments

Grace Campbell and her team earned a silver at the 2022 Pan American Taekwondo Championships
Red Deer’s Grace Campbell has had a notable year in the world of taekwondo. (Contributed photo)

The past year has been filled with accomplishments for Red Deer’s Grace Campbell.

In April 2022, the 16-year-old competed was part of Taekwondo Canada’s national U17 freestyle poomsae team at the Goyang 2022 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships – the team ended up finishing fifth in the world. Then in July, the team earned silver at the Pan American Taekwondo Championships in Costa Rica.

Campbell, a student at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, recently competed at the Canadian National Taekwondo Championships in Toronto, where she earned bronze in individual freestyle poomsae, which is a high-performance discipline to music that includes important key elements of taekwondo, including basics, kyorugi, acrobatic action and tricking.

The past year “has been such a great experience. I’m completely shocked by it,” Campbell told The Advocate on Monday.

Campbell has been doing taekwondo for more than 10 years, alongside her father and 14-year-old sister Jordan.

“My dad has been doing taekwondo since he was a teenager. He took some time away from it and started up again when my sister and I were really young. We joined him and have been doing it ever since,” said Campbell.

Campbell said taekwondo has boosted her confidence.

“I feel like a completely different person when I’m there. I’m more confident in myself and what I do in general,” she said.

Campbell is currently the captain of the demo team at Master Rim’s Taekwondo in Red Deer, where she is also training to be an instructor.

“The instructors there are definitely helping me get better at teaching,” she said.

In a recent Facebook post, Master Rim’s Taekwondo congratulated Campbell for winning a bronze medal at the national championship.

“What an incredible achievement and one that, given your consistent hard work and dedication, is well deserved,” the Facebook post said.

With 2022 in the rearview mirror, Campbell said she has a couple of goals in mind for this year.

“I want to continue with competitions and that kind of stuff. I’m also looking forward to getting my fourth-degree blackbelt soon – that’s very much a goal of mine,” she said.

“My sister and my dad are the same belt as me right now and they’re also looking to become fourth-degree black belts. Our goal is to do that by June – that’s when the next blackbelt testing is.”

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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