Profile Born in New York, USA, Steven Lopez is one of the most successful taekwondo athletes of all-time. He is a quadruple world champion, and has won gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
Steven is a member of the extended ‘Lopez family’, a famous band of brothers and sisters who have all been very successful in taekwondo. His older brother Jean, Steven’s coach, was an international taekwondo athlete himself, winning a silver medal at the 1995 World Championships. His younger brother Mark and his sister Diana both won their first big international title at the 2005 World Championships. Still, Steven has been the most successful family member around.
When the Lopez family came over to the USA in the 1970s because of political turmoil in their native Nicaragua, they eventually settled in Houston, Texas. The family’s two-car garage was where Steven began training in the martial art of taekwondo at the age of nine under the guidance of his 14-year-old brother Jean. It proved a vital relationship as Jean was the head coach of the US taekwondo team when Steven won his second Olympic medal at the 2004 Olympics.
Lopez’s international career started in 1994, when he won a bronze medal at the World Cup. Three years later, he won his first international gold medal at the 1997 World Cup and in 1999 Lopez won a gold medal at the Pan American Games. The following year, his rise to the top of his sport reached its climax when he claimed the gold medal in the featherweight category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2004, Lopez won his second Olympic gold medal in Athens, this time in the welterweight division. In 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, Lopez won the World Championship title four times.