Martin Stamper: Taekwondo

Martin Stamper, who hails from Liverpool, has been practicing taekwondo since the age of six. The eight-time British champion was chosen by Team GB as Taekwondo’s Athlete of the Year for 2011, as he earned three gold medals at the U.S., German and British Opens in addition to his silver medal-win at the French Open and a World Championship bronze. At the 2012 European Championships, he picked up his second bronze medal.

Who’s your Olympic idol and why?
Usain Bolt because he is so relaxed when he competes and you can tell he really enjoys it. He also broke three world records in Beijing which was amazing.

What is your earlier memory of watching the Summer Games?
Getting up really early to watch the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996 and supporting Team GB in every event.

If you weren’t competing in your sport, which one do you think you’d like to try?
Tennis or triple jump

What is your favorite thing about the Games?
Being able to watch sport for two weeks!

What do you love the most about your sport?
Competing, especially in front of big crowds.

What do you hope people take away from seeing the Games hosted in your home country?
I hope it’s enjoyable and that we host a great Games.

Outside of competition, what are you looking to do in London during the Games?
I’m focused on training, and hopefully looking forward to celebrating after I compete and taking part in the closing ceremonies.

Aside from your sport, what else do you love to do?
Spending time with my family and friends, especially my daughter Ava.

What special talent do you wish you had?
I wish I was as flexible as a gymnast so I could kick people in the head more.

What’s your favorite thing to do in London?
Going to nice restaurants and the nightlife.

Favorite British band?
The Beatles because they’re from my hometown of Liverpool.

Favorite British actor/actress?
Ricky Gervais. [I enjoy] more of his TV shows than films. He’s hilarious.

Favorite British TV show?
“The Office”

Martin Stamper: Taekwondo