PHS Freshman wins Gold in Israel

PHS Freshman wins Gold in Israel
Posted on 12/08/2017
Maria Prado Gold Medalist

By Jade Wise
PISD Communications

Maria Prado is not your average 15-year-old.

Not only is she a freshman at Pasadena High School, Maria is an accomplished martial artist and a member of the USA Jr. National Team. She recently competed at the 15th annual Israel Taekwondo Open Championship in Ramla, Israel, and won first place.

“Taekwondo is a really difficult sport,” said Prado. “You have to have a lot of speed, strength, accuracy and flexibility. It really is a mental game.”

Prado was the only female representative from the US to compete in the Ramla meet.

Prado faced off against top athletes from around the globe, including Russia, Switzerland, Italy and Israel.

“My first match was against a girl from the Israeil National Team and the whole arena was cheering for my opponent,” said Prado. “I was still able to get the win for that match.”

Prado said after winning that match, her nerves calmed and she felt more relaxed for the remainder of the tournament and brought home the gold.

Prado said she was introduced to Taekwondo by her family at age three and has been competing since age seven.  Her accolades include many first place finishes in AAU and the USAT National Championships.

Prado plans to continue competing in more world championship tournaments and she hopes to earn a spot on the 2024 US Olympic team.