“Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” ~ “Lady Bird” Johnson (Wife of 36th U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson)

There is no doubt that for athletes to achieve their goals they need a large measure of perseverance, dedication, and daily effort. But no one stands on the podium alone. A true champion knows that standing on the podium is like standing on the shoulders of their biggest, most steadfast, and doggedly loyal fans. For many, these most ardent supporters are their parents. Today, we’d like to talk to Fred and Eve Towns and get a little perspective on how parental support goes into the making of a champion. Here’s what they had to say after their daughter Chloe Towns won the Bronze Medal last Friday, September 29th, at the 2017 Canada Open in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

How long has Chloe been doing taekwondo?
Chloe started doing tkd at 4 years old. She’s 18 now.

How do you feel about how far she’s gone, so far?
We are very proud of the everything that Chloe has achieved so far in TKD. When she started out 14 years ago we would never have anticipated that she would be a National champion, let alone competing on the world class level one day.

What did you do to help Chloe prepare for Canada?
Like any competition, we helped Chloe prepare for Canada by making sure she was eating healthy, and staying on track with her training schedule. This event was particularly challenging as she just began college and was immersed in moving to her dorm and transitioning to life at UCLA.

Did you give her any specific advice?
The only advice we give her is to keep doing what she’s been doing.

How did you feel on the day of the fight?
Fight days are so stressful! Since Chloe is new to the Senior division, we are not as familiar with many of the girls she has to compete with. We know she will go out there and give it her all, but it’s always nerve-wracking to watch!

We didn’t see the fight. Can you give us a summary of her matches?
Her first match was against the #4 seed Canadian athlete. We anticipated it to be a difficult match but Chloe was prepared for it. She fought very smart and had a great lead throughout most of the match. The final score was 35-18.

Her second fight was against a US competitor who Chloe will have to compete against at team trials. She was very focused on dominating this fight and she did just that; 38-24.

Her third fight was against a Japanese athlete currently ranked in the top 30 worldwide. The other girl was very good and established a lead early on in the first round. Chloe and Master Vargas worked closely in between rounds to adjust to the girl’s style and were able to close the gap significantly. It was an extremely exciting fight and we were thrilled with Chloe’s performance. While she did not get the win, she did gain great experience from sparring with this athlete.

What are some of your thoughts, regarding Chloe, in the upcoming President’s Cup?
The President’s Cup will be another excellent place for Chloe to gain experience. As a G2 tournament, it will bring out some of the best athletes in the sport so the competition will be fierce. We know she is there to learn as much as she’s there to win, so whatever happens we are sure she will come away from it a better athlete.

Finally, what advice can you share with parents in helping their athletes through the highly competitive sport of taekwondo?
I think the most important thing any family can do is be supportive. An athlete is developed in many ways. The coaches and teammates will make sure they are physically in shape, but the family needs to be there to ensure that they are getting the right food and nutritional guidance as well as the emotional support every day.

CONGRATULATIONS again to Ms. Chloe Towns on her Bronze Medal Win at the Canada Open!

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