STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KFVS) - At only 12 years old, Austin Caldwell is not the typical Taekwondo student. At this young age he's already earned a first degree black belt. Even more impressive, Austin just started his training three years ago.
Asked how good he is, Austin says "I like to think I'm ok, pretty good I guess." He's also humble, so here's a look at his achievements. He's won over 40 medals in his short time. Austin's also competed in the Junior Olympics last year and looks to improve this year.
Reaching this elite level requires countless hours of dedication. "I work out 22 hours a week, from 5 am to about 7, then I go to school and then practice again from 3 to 7 then it's homework," Austin says.
A full load to be sure, but Austin and his training class seem to have unlimited energy. His Taekwondo coach Lance Bohnert sees unlimited potential. "He has the talent and skills to actually become a national champion if he keeps working hard and we stay on the path we're on," said Bohnert.
Up next for Austin is the National Championships for USA Taekwondo in Dallas next week. He thinks last year's experience will help him improve. Austin also would like to pursue a career in the sport. "I'd love to do this when I'm older, hopefully go to the Olympics someday, it would be fun," he said.