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Oklahoma City man heads to Rio to go for gold in Taekwondo

In this photo, Stephen Lambdin of Oklahoma City competes in a Taekwondo competition. (Courtesy of Simon Hurst)

A metro man is taking off to represent Team USA in Rio. Stephen Lambdin will be going for the Olympic gold in Taekwondo.

After 20 plus years of drive and dedication, an Olympic dream is coming true for Stephen Lambdin.

"I've had people come out today, and like you guys coming out to interview me, it's pretty surreal for sure,” said Stephen Lambdin, competitor on Team USA in Taekwondo.

He says his passion for Taekwondo had a strange beginning.

"I got started in Taekwondo when I was 6 because I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle, and it was the most logical way I guess that my parents could fulfill that dream,” said Lambdin.

Lambdin says the journey it's taken him on has been incredible.

"I think every athlete in an Olympic sport visualizes one day being able to march into the stadium with 450 other athletes representing our country,” said Lambdin.

The Dallas native moved to OKC in 2011 to train with his current coach. Lambdin spends most days doing Taekwondo workouts, lifting and yoga. He calls OKC a home away from home.

"My coach is one of the Olympic team coaches, and I mean if you want to be the best, you have to train with the best,” said Lambdin.

Lambdin is headed to Rio to represent Team USA. In less than a week he will be competing in the Olympics for the first time.

"There are waves in the ocean, days that I'm super excited, days that I'm really nervous about it but it's a lifelong childhood dream come true,” said Lambdin.

While obviously the goal is to win gold, Lambdin says he's grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to walking into the opening ceremonies in red, white and blue.

"To me it's a huge honor to represent USA on this scale obviously. I remember as a kid watching the Olympics and being inspired by the Olympics marching in and watching them compete, to be on the other side of that it's a dream come true,” said Lambdin.

The Olympic games kick off with the opening ceremony on Friday August 5th and the competition runs through August 21st.

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