Reaching for the 2012 Olympic

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By Mickey Patterson

CRESTWOOD – Aaron Dickerson is going to chase his dream. For the next four years, Dickerson is going to give himself over to training full-time to reach the 2012 Olympics as a member of the United States Tae Kwon Do team. The decision comes after Dickerson recently took second place in the middleweight division at the U.S. Open in New Orleans. The Open drew the best from the United States and also Olympic competitors from nations like Korea, Germany and Puerto Rico. “London in 2012,” Dickerson said. “That’s my goal. It’s been a thing for a long time for people to ask me if I was going to try for the 2008 team. It was never really my dream before now. I have always wanted to do Martial Arts movies and have been taking steps to do that. Now I realize I really have a chance at this and I want to go for it. You can’t be wishy washy about something like this. For the next four years this is going to be the focus of my life.”Dickerson, 22, a theatre arts major at the University of Louisville, trains and teaches at the Kentucky Tae Kwon Do and Fittness Academy in Crestwood under Master Sean Ramey. He has been a nationally ranked competitor since starting the sport at the age of 13 when he started in the sport after seeing a Bruce Lee movie. “Aaron is the real thing,” Ramey, a former national middleweight champion himself, said. “We’re going to get him ready to go to every major national and international event we can to get him ready for 2012. He is ready to dedicate the next four years of his life to this and I think he can do it.” In addition to the silver medal in fighting he won at the Open, Dickerson won the gold medal in forms, where competitors are judged on a pre-set series of moves. In fighting, the competitors have three two-minute rounds to score points. The bout will also be stopped once one fighter reaches 12 points or gains a seven-point advantage at any point in the match. Points are scored by kicks or punches to the upper torso excluding the arms and to the head. There are no punches to the head allowed, only kicks. In New Orleans, Dickerson had five fights winning four. One of those wins came over a member of the highly regarded Korean national team. Dickerson, a Pendleton native and graduate of Oldham County High School, will continue to train under Ramey. “I have more of an attacking, aggressive style, I like to go at it when I fight,” Dickerson said. “I won’t be making any drastic changes, just trying to refine my style and my technique with the help of Master Ramey.” Dickerson will graduate this year and said he will continue to teach at Ramey’s school and could possibly even open his own academy in the near future. If the Olympic dream does not work out, he said he is ready to look to begin a career in film. “My goal prior to this has always been to make martial arts films and that hasn’t really changed,” Dickerson said. “If the Olympics does not happen, I am going to make sure I am ready to move on to the next part of my life.”

Valentine wins gold Three other members from the Crestwood school went to New Orleans. Alec Valentine, 13, won a gold medal in forms and fought in the 14-17 year-old division. Ellen Mims, 19, won a bronze medal in forms and won her first fight before falling to the eventual silver medalist. Andy Foubert, 18, won two matches before falling in overtime in the third round. “He really fought well,” Ramey said.E-mail us about this story at: sports@oldhamera.com