8 Questions for Tyler Kennedy


Most students are currently concerned with balancing their academic studies with their extra-curricular activities, however senior Tyler Kennedy takes this to the new level as he trains for the 2016 Olympics. When many students are heading home, Tyler is driving to Indiana in order to train with Olympic level coaches, and on weekends often flying out to various competitions.


  1. When did you begin participating in Tae Kwon Do?

I’ve been doing it for about 12 years. I started at a little club in Skokie. Now that I’m on the national team, I don’t go there anymore.

  1. How often do you practice? Do you miss a lot of school for it?

I practice everyday from about 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. It depends on the year. This year I’m going to be missing a lot of school for it. Its been real rough balancing school work with training, but its gotten easier over the years.

  1. How did you become olympic bound?

If you win nationals, which I did back in June, they put you on a national team, and you fight all over the world. If you keep winning, they’ll take you to the Olympics.

  1. What made you begin Tae Kwon Do?

When I was little, I used to like watching a lot of fighting movies, and so I was like, “mom, I want to do that.” She said okay, and signed me up, and that’s where it all started. I was about eight years old when I started competing. When I won, and then kept winning, I saw that I was actually good at this, and just wanted to win ever since then.

  1. When did you decide to pursue the olympics?

When I was a freshman I began competing with the olympic team. Since then, it has become very serious, and has caused me to work twice as hard as ever before. I was getting scouted at competitions, and being watched more than before. The coaches saw the school I was currently at, and told me that I needed to be at a higher level school, and train with a national team.

  1. Why do you like Tae Kwon Do?

When you fight, it’s really aggressive. You get all your frustrations out by beating people up. I try to focus on winning, and it’s made me very competitive.

  1. Why is it important to you?

At first it wasn’t that important to me, it was like a regular sport, but when I found out it was an Olympic sport that could also send me to college, it became a bigger deal. It made me work harder than ever before.

  1. Who is currently training you for the Olympics?

Team USA in Indiana. My coach’s name is Master Medina, and he is the one who has trained all the Olympic athletes in the past. I drive an hour and a half to Indiana everyday in order to train with him.