Alexandria Taekwondo Gym Grooms Four Olympians | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Alexandria Taekwondo Gym Grooms Four Olympians

Play associated audio
 
Mali native and taekwondo athlete Daba Modibo Keita signs autographs at the gym where he trains in Alexandria, Va.
Elliott Francis
  Mali native and taekwondo athlete Daba Modibo Keita signs autographs at the gym where he trains in Alexandria, Va.

With the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London just weeks away, one locally-trained athlete is preparing for his second try at Olympic gold for a nation that has never medalled in the games. 

Daba Modibo Keita is a world class Taekwondo athlete. The 6' 8" native of Mali won the world championship in the heavyweight division back in 2007, and he competed for his home nation at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. This summer he returns a little older, and wiser.

"This my second time around," Modibo Keita says. "I'm 31 and I think I'm more mature and we'll see." 

He trains in Alexandria at Remarck Sport Taekwondo, which is sending four taekwondo athletes to the London Olympics, including Modibo Keita and Alexandria native Terrence Jennings.

They train under the guidance of coach and former Olympian Patrice Remarck, who is also trained as a mathematician and physicist. In the 2008 games, Modibo Keita advanced to the quarter finals but was defeated by Nigerian Chika Chuckwumeriji, who went on to win the Bronze medal. 

No athlete from Mali has ever won an Olympic medal and Modibo Keita intends to change that. 

"I'll do my best and do whatever it takes to go further than I did in 2008," Modibo Keita says. "They say you don't know what you're capable of until you try, so I'm going to try and I'm going to do my best, and do whatever it takes to win."

Part of the success of athletes such as Modibo Keita lies in the coach's scientific approach to training called Taeametrics, says school co-owner Danielle Remarck. (Patrice Remarck was traveling abroad.) 

"He does a lot of advance mathematical theory and calculation," Danielle Remarck says. "He uses biomechanics, angular momentum a lot of positioning of the body that most people don't normally use."

Modibo Keita thinks it works.

NPR

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Spending on the Kentucky Senate race might reach $100 million. So what else could that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.