Local teen’s Taekwondo victory sparks Olympic dreams
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A local teen with Olympic dreams got a nice welcome home at the Albuquerque International Sunport.
Chaney Cecil is coached by Chee Bates at the Bates Taekwondo in the metro. They just got back from a major win in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“He’s the best in the nation,” said Chee Bates, owner & head coach of Bates Taekwondo. “What Cheney did this weekend was he ended up making the Junior National Championship team. There’s 10 weight divisions, and he got one of those weight divisions in the Heavyweight Divisions in the 73 plus kilos.”
Cecil won his weight division, not only making the Junior National Team, but also earning the top spot for his weight class in the country.
Later this year, he’ll compete on the Junior National Team in South Korea.
“I’ve never competed on the international level before, so that’d be new. I’ve never even, I’ve gotten to Mexico, I think one time. But, like, I haven’t even been outside the country other than that, so it’ll just be a new experience,” said Cecil.
Cecil was working through a sprained ankle and a pulled hamstring before this latest meet.
“This last one, I was actually going to train every day and throughout winter break. But then, I obviously pulled my hamstring and sprained my ankle, so it’s a little hard to be doing that. But usually I’ll train every day,” said Cecil.
Bates says no matter the outcome, getting to watch his athletes grow on and off the mat is one of the best things about Taekwondo.
“Our sport is, you know, a bumpy road, it’s up and down. But at the end of the day it’s the heart and dedication that these kids give into it, and I love them for that. It’s awesome,” said Bates.
Folks can watch the Taekwondo competitions at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris on channel 4.
Cecil still has a few years until he can qualify for the Olympics because he’s 16 years old. Right now, the Senior National Team is 18 and older.
But Bates says that’s definitely something they’re working towards. People could see Cecil compete at the 2028 games in Los Angeles.