Truesdale sets sights on more World Para Taekwondo gold
She might have world and European medals to her name but Amy Truesdale’s sporting life could very easily have taken a different path.
As a youngster, she would split her time between tap and ballet dancing as well as swimming before finally adding taekwondo to the equation.
But with so many activities and dance exams on the horizon, it was all getting a bit much and Truesdale had to choose which path she wanted to follow.
For the then-eight-year-old it was a no-brainer: kicking people was much more fun than any of her other hobbies.
That moment was almost 20 years ago and since then Truesdale has gone on to establish herself as a trailblazer in British para taekwondo with gold medals on the biggest stages – including world titles and three consecutive European crowns.
“At first doing taekwondo was just something my parents thought would be good for me as a form of self defence,” said Truesdale.
“But as soon as I started I loved it and as soon as I got out of that first class I can remember asking when the next one was and if I could go again.
“I was doing so much at the time and my dance exams were getting close so my parents told me I had to make a decision and I chose to focus on taekwondo.
“There was something about kicking that I just really loved but I took a lot of the skills from dancing across because that had given me a lot of flexibility.”
While Truesdale has enjoyed a storied career to date there was always something missing from her list of achievements: a Paralympic medal.
With para taekwondo a new sport for the Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020, that goal is very much at the forefront of Truesdale’s mind.
But first there is the small matter of a World Championships at London’s Copper Box on October 19 and Truesdale is looking to draw on home support in her bid for success.
“I think once we got the vote for Tokyo about two years ago it made it all a little bit more real that I would be able to compete,” she added.
“Since then it’s very much been a goal of mine to get there and do well so I just need to keep working hard and competing and hopefully it will all come together.
“The Worlds are first on that list and I’m really excited about being able to compete in front of a home crowd on such a big stage.
“There will be that extra little bit of pressure but I think it’s going to be a great tournament and I’m really hoping to get gold. I think I have done enough in training and it is a realistic goal.”