ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two brothers from Albuquerque have been invited to participate in a national taekwondo competition that could lead to competing in international events. Chaney and Cooper Cecil are getting ready for the USA Taekwondo team trials, just one of the many goals of the brothers.
Cooper has been following his older brother’s footsteps since he was three years old. “I think it’s pretty cool. Not a lot of people get to compete in this and it’s a very high-level opportunity that I have and that’s pretty cool,” said Cooper. Chaney and Cooper practice three times a week at Bates Premier Taekwondo in Albuquerque.
Their coach, Chee Bates, says he’s proud to see his students succeed in this tough sport, especially Chaney Cecil. “Right now, he’s one of the top fighters in the United States and it’s awesome to see him where he started and, as a coach, to see his growth,” said Bates.
Chaney has won several medals but being invited to the USA Taekwondo team trials is one of his biggest accomplishments. “It feels good. It’s been my goal since I was like seven years old, so it’s like a dream come true,” said Chaney.
USA Taekwondo team trials will be held this weekend in Tulsa. The event qualifies athletes for the US National Team for international events, that includes the World Taekwondo Championships and the Pan Am Games.
Cooper hopes being invited is a stepping stone to something bigger. “I would like to be an Olympic medalist, or a world championship and team trials is just an opportunity to get there,” said Cooper.
Results of the event should be known by Sunday evening.