Trains: 4 to 6 hours a day
Hometown: Sainte-Catherine, Que.
Taekwondo means the art of hand and foot fighting. And on the mat, Karine Sergerie is one fast-footed artist. The Olympic silver medallist is Canada’s first female world champion in taekwondo.
Why this sport: “Martial arts opened my eyes to discipline and determination. It made me a better person.”
Top workout tip: Building up your mind muscle is just as important as strengthening the other muscles in your body. “That’s why I see a sports psychologist every week.”
Watch out for: Her front kicks with her left leg.
Her advice to her younger self: “‘Working hard pays off. So, good job, keep going.’ But I’d also say, ‘You’re allowed to be young! There’s nothing wrong with a life outside taekwondo.’ I thought I had to be a robot when I was younger, as if that would make it impossible make mistakes.”
Stress relief: “I love a good supper with friends, especially when we can share a nice bottle of wine.”
She feels strongest when… “My body and mind work together and my emotions don’t get in the way.”
Pre-game jitters: “Before my first match, I’m so nervous. I try to stay grounded, but there’s nothing I can do to calm myself until I start the fight. Then I’m in the zone.”
Her motto: “I got a tattoo last year that basically says: ‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ It’s from The Lord of the Rings.”
Her award-winning advice: “Be in the moment. The more you focus on the now, the more success you can achieve.”