And my name is Paige McPherson. I’m the only adopted sibling out of five. My family decided to enrol my older, Korean brother in Taekwondo classes.
Being the younger sibling meant that I had to follow in his footsteps at all times. When he began the game, my siblings and I did so as well.
P. Mcpherson Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
A former Taekwondo Olympian who has won three gold medals personally recruited me. And he told me that if I put in the work, if I really care about it, if I simply go for it, then I may perhaps make it to the 2012 Olympics.
The motivation and assurance I gained from that helped me win the bronze medal match in 2012. After that, I was lucky and made it onto Rio’s squad.
I’ve made it to the final stage of the journey, which will take me to Tokyo. And I’m thrilled to finally make it here.
Paige McPherson finished in fourth place in the women’s 67 kg. event, missing out on a second Olympic medal but capping off a strong performance by the women of Team USA.
Anastasija Zolotic, at age 18, made history when she won the 57 kilogramme Olympic gold medal as the first American woman in the sport.
McPherson, whose nickname was “McFierce,” was going for her second medal at the Olympics.
McPherson, at 30 years old, earned a bronze medal in 2012 and placed eleventh in Rio in 2016. She beat Azerbaijan’s Farida Azizova, the number 16 seed, 8-5 in the round of 16, and Turkey’s Nur Tatar, the number 4 seed, 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
McPherson’s dreams of competing for gold were dashed as he lost 15-4 to Croatia’s Matea Jelic in the semifinals. This set up a bronze medal match against Egypt’s Hedaya Wahba.
Midway through the fight, McPherson, from Sturgis, South Dakota, had a 5-3 lead, but Wahba stormed out to an 11-5 advantage, and a head shot later, McPherson was down 17-6. McPherson was unable to close the gap between them.
On Monday, Paige McPherson competed for bronze in the women’s 67 kilogramme taekwondo competition, but she ultimately placed fourth. Hedaya Wahba of Egypt won by a score of 17 to 6. McPherson held a 5-4 advantage going into the third round, but Wahba won that round convincingly, 14-1.
McPherson was competing in her third Olympics and had already won a bronze medal at the 2012 Games in London. However, Wahba brought home bronze, her second Olympic medal overall, from the 2016 Rio Games.
The American advanced to the bronze medal match by beating Farida Azizova of Azerbaijan and Nur Tatar of Turkey before losing to Matea Jelic of Croatia in the semi-finals.
McPherson was eliminated from medal contention after losing to Croatia’s Matea Jeli in the semifinals. The American Olympian went on to lose her second bronze medal match, this time against the Egyptian competitor Hedaya Wahba.
Only in a few sports, like taekwondo, are two bronze medals awarded at the Olympics. Boxing, judo, and wrestling also award two bronze medals.