Winnipeg Olympian thanks community for support leading up to Paris

A Winnipeg Olympian took time Saturday to show her support to the community that has backed her throughout her sporting journey.

Skylar Park — a taekwondo athlete — is gearing up for the Olympics in Paris starting at the end of July, but she first wanted to thank the community for supporting her.

She hosted an event called “Pathway to Paris,” which featured a presentation from Park, an introduction to taekwondo and a self-defence exercise for teenage girls and women.

“I think I realized that I’m on the mat alone when I’m competing, but there’s so many people behind me, cheering me on and just giving me that extra little strength while I’m out there. So I just wanted to give back to them, and put something on like this for them, and just bring them with me on this journey towards Paris was really important to me,” said Park.

Park made the 2020 Summer Olympics but lost in the quarterfinals. She said her goal is to end up on the podium in 2024 and wants to share that inspiration with others.

“I think a big theme of the event is dream bigger,” she said. “I told a CTV News reporter when I was six years old that I wanted to go to the Olympics and I think to dream big, not be afraid to say our goals out loud (is important).

“I think there is no shame in really saying what you want and what you’re going for and working hard toward that.”

She said around 200 people attended the event throughout the day Saturday.

In preparation for Paris, Park said she has some more training sessions coming up to help her prepare.

The 2024 Summer Olympics start on July 26 and run until Aug. 11.

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