Jackie Galloway, a 2012 Olympic alternate for Mexico, is the first member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic taekwondo team.
The 19-year-old qualified via her World Taekwondo Federation Olympic ranking — being in the top six in the 67-plus kilogram weight class after this past weekend’s Grand Prix Final in Mexico City.
“My goal is to win gold at the Olympics,” Galloway said, according to TeamUSA.org. “And that’s not just my goal, that’s my plan.”
Galloway, a Southern Methodist mechanical engineering sophomore whose Twitter handle is @ikick_urface, this year earned World Championships bronze, Pan American Games gold and finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final.
The dual citizen and native Texan trained for the 2012 Olympics in Mexico City and moved back to the U.S. after missing the London Games.
The U.S. has won medals at all four Olympic taekwondo tournaments — the sport debuted at Sydney 2000 — but Galloway is the first U.S. men’s or women’s heavyweight division athlete to qualify for an Olympics.
Five of the eight U.S. Olympic taekwondo medals were won by members of the Lopez family — Mark, Steven and Diana.
Steven Lopez, the lone U.S. Olympic taekwondo champion, has made all four U.S. Olympic taekwondo teams. The 37-year-old reached the World Championships quarterfinals in May.
Lopez and others will try to qualify for Rio by winning the U.S. Olympic trials in February and then placing in the top two at a Pan American qualifier in March in Mexico.
Athletes qualified for 2016 U.S. Olympic team
Haley Anderson (Swimming) — @Swimhaley
Carlos Balderas (Boxing)
Morgan Craft (Shooting) — @morgancraft25
Glenn Eller (Shooting) — @wgeller3
Matthew Emmons (Shooting) — @mattemmonsusa
Jackie Galloway (Taekwondo) — @ikick_urface
Vincent Hancock (Shooting) — @vincent_hancock
Gwen Jorgensen (Triathlon) – @gwenjorgensen
Michael McPhail (Shooting)
Sean Ryan (Swimming) — @seanryan92
Keith Sanderson (Shooting)
Nathan Schrimsher (Modern Pentathlon) — @pentnate5
Sarah True (Triathlon) — @sgroffy
Jordan Wilimovsky (Swimming) — @j_wilimovsky
Jennifer Wu (Table Tennis)