Two Kids Invited To Compete In Karate Tournament In Australia
A 12 year old boy and a thirteen year old girl from our region are selected to represent Team USA in an international karate tournament in Australia in May.
We met with 13 year old Anjelica Rivera of Yakima, and 12 year old Devon Brown of Pasco.
Both first degree Blackbelts in Karate, and each has won multiple medals and championships at competitions across the country.
When they found out a few weeks ago they had been invited to compete in an international tournament in Australia, they had similar reactions.
"I was just amazed," said Rivera, "I couldn't believe that out of all the people in the world, I didn't think that I would be selected to go all the way across the world."
"I had no idea what it was until I saw it was from the WKC, which is the World Karate Confederation," said Brown, "I just started reading it, and I just started crying."
The tournament will be held in Melbourne, Australia.
Since receiving their invitations, both Anjelica and Devon have intensified their training.
Instructors say Anjelica would spend almost two hours a day after school, or even up to four hours a day on the weekend at the Yakima School of Karate, conditioning and honing her skills.
They say all that hard work has finally paid off.
"She trains incredibly dedicated," said Anjelica's Sensei, Zachary Gonzales, "We do all kinds of physical activities and she's always up for it. Just whatever we say, boom, she's right on top of it."
Even parents can't express how proud they are of their kids.
"He can do anything if he puts his mind to it," said Devon's father, Shaun Brown, "He's proven it by taking medals in national championships, Junior Olympics, and now being invited to be on the Team USA, we're all really proud."
"Whatever she wants to do, she can reach those goals," said Anjelica's father, Hector Rivera, "I think karate has given her that strength and that power to move forward and realize that there's nothing that can knock her down."
And despite all the praise they are getting now, both know they have a common goal in mind.
"If I get gold in my division, I'll be standing on the first place podium, and my flag will be wrapped around me," said Devon.
"I really want to be able to at least try and go to the Olympics," said Anjelica, "I mean after nationals, they have Junior Olympics. I was really hoping to get to that."
Both kids will be competing in Australia this May.