TOKYO – Two days after making history, Anastasija Zolotic still couldn’t deem she had gained Olympic gold.
However on the day she became the first American lady to win taekwondo gold in the Video games, she may perchance perchance well infrequently fathom any assorted final consequence. That’s the surreal limbo the 18-Twelve months-old-long-established finds herself in as she prepares to go away the positioning of her biggest win.
Zolotic has had two nights, even supposing runt sleep, since winning the below-57 kilogram final bout on Sunday and hasn’t processed it all.
“I know a few of us are freaking out over their gold, silver and bronze medals, and I’m over here sitting subsequent to my gold medal and comely looking at it like what did I comely attain?” she mentioned Tuesday. “I’m trying to kind of in truth feel the sentiments.”
Maybe it was once the shortage of followers and family or the familiarity along with her opponents, however Zolotic mentioned the competitors didn’t in truth feel like an Olympics, or not lower than didn’t come with the stress she anticipated. The Florida native felt nothing however confident that day.
“At some stage in the day I comely saved thinking, if everything was once like this, why wouldn’t I combat as effectively as I could perchance perchance well?” she mentioned. “I think I peaked appropriate on the supreme moment and I comely took home that gold.”
Her second contest showed that. Zolotic confronted Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun, whom she had lost to all five times she confronted Ilgun previously. However she jumped to an early lead and managed the competition, advancing whereas Ilgun would go on to win bronze.
“In my mind, I couldn’t envision myself crying and going support to that room and having to struggle via this repechage,” Zolotic mentioned. “Everything was once so supreme, via my training, my weight minimize and my warm-up to the save I felt like there was once nothing that will dangle gone nasty in this match.”
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Zolotic didn’t exactly fling below the radar – she had Pan Am gold and a Formative years Olympics silver – however the discipline included greater ranked warring parties, including two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones.
Zolotic had hoped to face her, however Jones lost in the round of 16. Zolotic had runt intention back dispatching the varied warring parties she confronted, including Russia’s Tatiana Minina in the gold-medal contest.
“I constantly declare I love to be the underdog comely as a result of it takes a few stress off, however I’m kind of getting to a point the save I’m like, that you just may perchance well presumably’t support pretending to be the underdog,” she mentioned.
She may perchance perchance well desire a tough time with that in the prolonged toddle. Despite the indisputable truth that she’s regarded as the save she’ll save the medal in her room at home, it hasn’t hit her yet that she’s a gold medalist.
Zolotic expects it can well when she is reunited along with her family in Florida or when they trail to Bosnia and Herzegovenia to seek the recommendation of with prolonged family she hasn’t seen in not lower than eight years.
It certainly didn’t sink in on the podium, the save the grinning teen tilted her head support several times as if in disbelief. In reality – this surreal one Zolotic envisioned however still can’t process – she was once trying to not look for at her coach, Gareth Brown, or the USA Taekwondo team for dread she would cry.
“It was once kind of these pinch-me moments,” she mentioned. “Every time I regarded up I was once like, I’m gonna search for support down and it’s not here. Nope, it’s still here.”