Steven Lopez makes fifth U.S. Olympic taekwondo team

Steven Lopez
AP
0 Comments

Steven Lopez is going to a fifth Olympics, hoping to replicate the success of his first three Games and not the disappointment of 2012.

Lopez, 37, and first-time Olympian Stephen Lambdin qualified for the Rio Games at a Pan American tournament Thursday.

They joined 2012 Mexican Olympic team alternate Jackie Galloway on the U.S. Olympic taekwondo team. A fourth athlete, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Paige McPherson, can round out the team by qualifying Friday.

Lopez earned gold at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and bronze in 2008. He lost in the first round of London 2012 while slowed by an ankle injury. Taekwondo debuted as an Olympic medal sport in 2000.

For the first time since 2004, Lopez will not have a sibling competing with him in Rio.

Mark Lopez, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, lost to Lambdin at the U.S. Olympic trials in February, failing to advance to this week’s Pan American tournament.

Diana Lopez, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, had a baby girl in January 2015 and did not compete at the Olympic trials.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Rio Olympics