Gilbertville's O'Connell wins 5th National Title - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gilbertville's O'Connell wins 5th National Title

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It is late July... weeks after Courtney O'Connell has won her 5th AAU National Title....and she is back in the gym--- training. And she is no longer training with girls her own age--she is going hard in the gym with the guys...

Courtney O'Connell said, " Yeah I have no girl training partners anymore---but I don't really mdnd having no guys to train with---I think training them with them because they are bigger and strong than me. "

During her recent AAU title run---Courtney beat two former National Champions.... in the Championship-- Courtney had to rally to win and wasn't sure the Gold was hers right away.

Courtney said,

" She was ahead until like the last two seconds everyone was cheering and I was so confused and I looked at the scoreboard and I was ahead and I thought oh my Gosh!!!" "

Courtney has been blessed with two parents---Russ and Kristi O'Connell who have ben very encouraging. Russ O'Connell is a 7th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and a long time instructor...

" Three years ago I decided I was finally doing it for myself --when I was younger I just mostly wanted to make dad happy to be close to him and I was good at it to so that helped but recently I just really been thinking about it---I've been doing it for myself and the enjoyment of it and it has been a lot better." "

Russ O'Connell is a business partner and a good friend of US Olympic Taekwondo Coach Juan Moreno. Moreno makes frequent visits to Waterloo's Roc Gym, which means all her life Courtney has gotten consultation from the highest level in the sport.

"There is so much more that I want to do --I've accomplished a lot of my goals, but I'm just getting started---this Nationals was a stepping stone for my senior fighting career and I think I am just starting where I want to be."

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