May 13, 2002
Leota student is champ
Rudy Ruiz, a 14-year-old Leota Junior High School 8th grader, brought home the gold medal from Ahnyang City, Korea, the site of the 2002 Kyonggi International Open Taekwondo Championships. The international event took place during the last week of April and hosted competitors from 32 countries.
Ruiz, a 2nd degree black belt, competed in both the sparring and forms events, taking gold in the sparring competition and silver in forms. Ruiz's final sparring match was against a member of the Kyonggi Junior Elite team.
Ruiz began Taekwondo in 1993 at the age of six. He has competed since 1994. He recently won the Gold medal in sparring at the 2002 Washington State Taekwondo Championships, held in Seattle in March.
Ruiz trains at Hwang's Taekwondo in Kirkland, under the direction of Grand Master Sun Do Hwang.
Ruiz's immediate plans are to compete in Minneapolis in July at the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships.
He trains six days a week, with the goal of attaining a position on the U.S. Junior National Team.