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Wasco Taekwondo champion, 14, heading to Bosnia

Dylan Solorio, a 14-year-old athlete with the Wasco Tigers Taekwondo school, earned a spot to be on the USA national team in the weight category of 49 to 64 kilos to travel and compete at the Cadet World Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in August.

The championship is held every two years in a different country.

Dylan fought long and hard to make it to the quarter finals. In his first match, he defeated Egypt and lost to Russia in a nail-biting fight.

His father, Alexander Solorio, said, "It was a close match against Russia but fell short, losing by two rounds."

"Dylan is among the world's finest athletes in Taekwondo and was among the best athletes worldwide at the championship. Only the top athletes from each country were awarded a spot to compete at the prestigious event."

Alexander said Dylan understands strategies, works well under pressure and makes quick decisions.

The first step to the world championship is to be ranked in the top ten in the United States and then go to team trials in Oklahoma. The top ten athletes there fight off for the USA national team member spot to represent the country at the world championship.

"That's one person, and Dylan earned that title in his weight division to go against other fighters from around the world," Alexander said.

"In preparation for the world championship, it was a year of hard and intense practice, building him into the person he is now."

Alexander added that it was an incredible experience for Dylan because he got to socialize and learn different people's cultures and languages.

"He built camaraderie with other athletes and had a chance to network. Now he has been invited to Iran and Spain to train," Alexander said.

Taekwondo is a dynamic Korean martial art that involves acrobatic kicks, graceful punches and lots of strategy.

Dylan, a black belt who has lived in Wasco his whole life, has been a Taekwondo athlete since age 4. His dream is to be an Olympian. "I think I'm going to make it, of course."

He points to his instructors for their help in his success. "They showed me new ways to practice and are very supportive. I'm grateful for them."

His most exciting aspect of participating in the World Championship was traveling, meeting new people and fighting.

"I worked hard. I gave it one hundred percent."

Wasco Tigers Taekwondo is family-owned and founded by the Solorios, with dad Rigo serving as a coordinator, mom Rosa as head instructor and sons Brian and Alexander as instructors.

The school has been around for almost 20 years. Over this time, hundreds of students have come through the school to learn self-discipline, humility, responsibility and teamwork.

Brian has been practicing and teaching for more than 15 years. He said, "The best part of the school is seeing students improve in Taekwondo but also growing their self-confidence."

"It is also really cool when they compete in various countries and states and bring home national and international medals."

He said it's great that as his students become older, they always come back to give of themselves to the community.

Brian explained that Dylan making it to the World Championship reflects positively on the school.

"Wasco Tigers Taekwondo has a rich history of building national team members, collegiate world team members and now a world championship team member. It's an inspiration to the small city to be able to produce such high-level athletes."

Brian said the school is open to anybody who wants to build self-esteem and motivation to become a better person and athlete.

"We're in business to build character and productive members of society. Everybody is welcome to learn and progress in their own ways here."


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