His coach calls him the fastest and strongest athlete she has ever seen.
Sebastien Konan hopes she’s right.
The Taekwondo athlete is headed to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China.
Konan is being coached by Missy Cann in Havelock, North Carolina. She is also the coach of the Marine Taekwondo team at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock.
The 27-year-old Konan is originally from Africa and will be representing Cote d'Ivoire at the games in Beijing. This is his second trip to the Olympics, and he plans to make it count.
"I'm very hungry to get a gold. In 2000, I was in the Olympics,” Konan told WITN-TV. “I didn't have enough experience in national competition. I finished in fourth place at the Olympics. I'm looking forward to getting the gold."
Taekwondo has been a part of Konan’s life for decades.
"I did Taekwondo since I was five years old,” he said. “So I've actually done it my whole life. It helped me achieve a lot of things in life, school. The dedication you have to go and be first at everything you want to do and you have to be polite and respectful to everybody, so that's the really great thing I like about Taekwondo.”
He also likes the intensity of the sport and can’t wait to get to China.
"I like the pressure,” Konan said. “I like the fact that it's really close. It makes me be ready mentally and train hard and be focused, and hopefully we go there and get a gold medal."