Wednesday 24 February 2010

Profile of a World Champion - Carl Van Roon

Carl Van Roon receiving Grand Champion award at the 2009 ITF World Champs
Carl Van Roon receiving the award for Grand Champion at the 2009 ITF World Champs.

This is the first of a series of articles profiling our kiwi world champions who achieved so much success for New Zealand at the 2009 World Champs in Argentina

TKDAction: What year did you start TKD training and what was the name of the club and your instructor?

CVR: I started training with ITFNZ in 2000 at at Nibun Central with Andrew Niven as my instructor.

TKDAction: When did you get your black belt and what was your club and instructor?

CVR: I got my blackbelt the following year in 2001, a little early due to my other Martial Arts experience. Andrew Niven was still my instructor at the time.

TKDAction: Which international events have you attended and what were your achievements at each?

CVR: Worlds 2003, Warsaw, Poland
-Gold in individual special technique

Worlds 2005, Dortmund, Germany
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique

Worlds 2007, Quebec, Canada
- Bronze in individual -80kg sparring
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique

Worlds 2009, Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- Silver in individual -80kg sparring
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique
- Grand champion (Best overall competitor)

TKDAction: What were your goals for the 2009 World Champs?

CVR: Personally? To transcend my own self-imposed limitations in a bid to fulfill my potential.
Quantitatively? To be best overall competitor of the world championships. One of my priorities was to improve on my bronze medal in sparring at the previous worlds in 2007.

TKDAction: Can you describe how you felt when you stood on the podium and had received your gold medal?

CVR:Grateful to my parents and team-mates for all their support. Proud of my country.

TKDAction: What were some of the challenges you had to overcome to compete at the world champs?

CVR: Injury management was quite an issue during the campaign, but I'm thankful that the "prehab" efforts of various professionals kept me from being pulled down by all the niggles.
Balancing life (study, work, training, personal life) has always been a challenge for me, but I believe that if you whole-heartedly love something and have the motivation, you make the time to make it happen.

TKDAction:What would your message be to a young junior who you thought was good enough to trial. What would you say to them to encourage them?

CVR: My message would be one of self-empowerment. I'll borrow a phrase to help me: "Be a light unto yourself". We must light our own path. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't truly welcome the help and expertise of those around you (that is also vital!) but try to find a path / way ("Do") that doesn't compromise or suffocate your own unique creativity and chance to express yourself. Try your own ideas out and don't be afraid of making mistakes. To quote some wise-guy: "Show me someone who hasn't made any mistakes, and I'll show you someone who hasn't tried hard enough." It is only through "mistakes" that we constantly improve!

Images of Carl on his journey from 2006 to 2009 World Champs Grand Champion...