Carson City’s Chi Duong will compete in the Taekwondo Western Regionals on June 11-13.
Carson City’s Chi Duong is ready to compete again in regional, national and world Taekwondo competitions after overcoming a number of obstacles.
Duong, who has three age-group silver medals (2014, 2016 and 2018) and one bronze medal in world competition (2013), returns to competition this summer despite the loss of his wife to cancer and physical problems that include lack of ACLs in his knees and a detached right bicep.
Duong won a silver medal virtually in the 2020 Pan Am Games and a gold medal in the 2021 U.S. Open in March.
Duong also competed virtually in the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association competition in August 2020 where he won a gold medal and picked up a bronze medal virtually in the World Class Championships in December.
Duong will first compete in the Western Regionals at The Mirage in Las Vegas on June 11-13. Duong, 70, will compete in the 66-0ver Division.
The Taekwondo Nationals are set for San Antonio in the Alamo Dome, Aug. 5-8.
If he qualifies, he will compete in the 2022 World Championships in Korea.
A stepping stone to the world competition will be the U.S. Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., in December.
The 2020 world competition that was canceled due to the pandemic.
To overcome his physical problems, has been undergoing physical therapy with therapist Jacquelyn Nemendez.
His knees deteriorated so much that he walked into his last worldwide competition in 2018 while using a cane.
So how was he able to compete?
“It was mental,’’ said Duong. “Three (volunteer) doctors were standing by just in case. I think for a guy with no ACLs, I did pretty good.”
Duong, now retired, immigrated to the United States in the mid-1970s. He was a flight engineer in the Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War that ended in 1975.
He taught taekwondo in Carson City since 1984 before retiring. He has earned a Grand Master rating in his art.
Duong said the support of his coaches, masters, doctors and teammates has helped lead to his success.
“Without them,” said Duong, “I am a nobody.”