Among all the sports we play and watch, some particular ones don’t have a big craze. Among the few, Taekwondo is one of them.
However, it’s not that people haven’t made achievements in this field. Thus, alongside the sport, we are gonna talk about the legendary taekwondo competitor, Steven Lopez.
Standing with Hadi Saei Bonehkohal, Lopez is also the only Olympian to win three medals in taekwondo.
Additionally, he features himself in the fourth Dan in Taekwondo and has apparently bagged the Lightweight Taekwondo World Championship.
Similar to it, Lopez is also the only first Taekwondo fighter to win 5 World Championships. To elaborate, he has a consecutive winning streak in the Championship title in the Welterweight division.
All in all, in the Taekwondo world, Lopez is the most titled champion after Hadi Saei.
|Full Name||Steven López|
|Date of Birth||November 9, 1978|
|Birth Place||Nicaragua, Republic of Nicaragua|
|Age||43 years old (as of July 2021)|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|Father’s Name||Julio López|
|Mother’s Name||Ondina Lopez|
|Siblings||Two brothers, Jean López, Mark López|
A sister, Diana López
|Education||I.H. Kempner High School|
|Affiliation||World Taekwondo Federation|
|Olympic titles||2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) & 2008(Beijing)|
|Taekwondo world championships||2001 (Jeju), 2003 (Garmisch), 2005 (Madrid), 2007 (Beijing), & 2009 (Copenhagen)|
|Net Worth||$4 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||YosooPack Kick Pad, RDX TKD Chest Guard|
|Last Update||June, 2022|
Steven Lopez is a decorated athlete, alongside being a handsome hunk himself. To illustrate, Lopez has black shortly kept hair with eyes of the same color and fair skin tone.
All in all, Lopez appeared in People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Furthermore, as per his physical built, Lopez stands tall at 6 ft 3 in (191 cm) while weighing 185 lb (84 kg).
Altogether, he has a toned, muscled body, which he maintains through training 11-12 times a week.
His training includes taekwondo workouts mixed with strength training and cardio. Likewise, he has his fixed diet plan with lots of fruits and veggies to harness the power of antioxidants.
Overall, among the diet plan he has, his favorite post-workout snack is Greek yogurt.
Steven Lopez | Early Life
Lopez was born on November 9, 1978,
Back then, his father worked for the dictator Anastasio Somoza until the 1979 Sandinista Revolution.
Therefore, he was working any jobs that landed on him to support his family. Afterward, in 1982, the Lopez family moved into New York.
Lopez has been sports-oriented ever since the age of five. Looking back to his childhood days, his father, Julio, was a big fan of Bruce Lee and thus, pushed Lopez into learning the art.
Initially, Julio taught Steven the Taekwondo sport in his garage with his other son, Jean Lopez.
With the early exposure to the sport, Steven didn’t have any big problem much more later.
Advancing further, he attended I.H. Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Altogether, Lopez is a 1997 graduate of Kempner High School.
During his high school tenure, he had maintained himself as the “most likely to succeed” title. In the meantime, he was also a member of the National Honor Society.
Steven Lopez | Career
Until today’s date, Lopez has featured in a total of 146 registered fights, where he won 115 contests out of them. Therewith, he has 78.8% 530 hitpoints distributed and 344 collected during fights.
In the beginning, Lopez started playing in the high-profile tournaments while still in his teenage years.
Back then, as he flaunted his combat skills, he had featured in the WTF World Junior Championships and Pan Am Games in 1996, the WTF World Cup in 1997, and the Pan Am Games again in 1998.
Therefore, when taekwondo was first added to the Olympics in 2000, Lopez made no mistake in missing it. Herewith, Steven Lopez competed through the lightweight category (68kg) in Sydney.
With it, the 2000 Olympics had a tight victory over Sin Joon-Sik (KOR) on Sydney’s State Sports Centre’s mats. Following it, Steven and Jean López became the first brothers to participate in the Olympic Games.
Thus, this marks his first place in history as one of the first two Olympic taekwondo champions. The very next year, Lopez won the 2001 Lightweight Taekwondo World Championship.
Not to mention, his next victory in 2003 was in the Welterweight Taekwondo World Championship.
Later, Lopez continued winning the Welterweight Taekwondo World Championship in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
The Lopez Siblings
Steven Lopez has awesome siblings surrounding him, who are all Olympians. They are also known as the ones who have given sports status to the United States of America.
“We have common goals and dreams.”
Jean Lopez is the eldest of all siblings (born on August 31, 1973), one of the best Taekwondo coaches in the United States. He has apparently worked for the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU).
Not to mention, he is also the coach of Steven Lopez since 1996. The brothers’ duo work with Paris Amani’s “Elite Taekwondo Center” in Houston, near Sugar Land.
To date, Jean has won the 1994 Pan-American Championship held in San José (Costa Rica).
Following it, he has also bagged silver at the 1995 World Championships in the Philippines. Overall, he has coached the U.S. Olympic Taekwondo team in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games.
The third sibling of the Lopez family, Mark, is an American taekwondo practitioner. Apparently, he has represented in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, where he bagged the silver.
He is a gold medalist at the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid, Spain. He is also the bronze medal holder in the 1999 Junior World Championships held in Edmonton, Canada.
Born on January 7, 1984, Diana Lopez is the youngest of all siblings and the only family sister.
She is an acclaimed American Olympic Taekwondo competitor who has been a member of the United States National Youth Team.
She has successfully bagged a gold medal during her career at the 1998 Istanbul Junior World Championship in Turkey. Furthermore, she is also the 2005 Taekwondo World Champion.
Lopez Family’s Historic Feat
For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Steven Lopez, alongside his siblings Mark and Diana Lopez, partook in the event.
Therewith, they became the first sibling’s trio since 1904 ever to be on the same Olympic team.
As a result, Steven had bagged bronze; Mark claimed the silver while Diana took the bronze medal.
Likewise, in April 2005, they wrote the sport’s history as they partook and claimed a world championship title at the same event.
To elaborate, Mark and Steven had featured in the men’s featherweight while Diana appeared in the women’s featherweight.
As they took the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships, their older brother, Jean, stood behind as their coach.
Moving on to 2012, Steven Lopez partook in London’s 2012 Olympic games alongside his sister, Diana Lopez. During the phase, they competed at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
“We’re an ordinary family that has achieved extraordinary things.”
Steven Lopez | Achievements
Lopez is undeniably the most decorated taekwondo competitor in history. Often called the “King of Taekwondo,” Lopez has never reduced his love for the sport and can be seen coaching.
Even as such honors, Lopez has been off the podium during his journey. In one of his off-podium moments, Lopez had his first in the 2012 London Games due to his ankle injury.
Therewith, he had his loss over Tunisia’s Oussama Queslati, which eventually ended his journey.
“I’m proud of being here. I’m proud of the consistency, and I’m proud of persevering through a lot of injuries. Being able to be here still, obviously, that wasn’t the ultimate goal, but I am proud that I was able to make the team in a full-contact sport.”
Highlights and Medals
- 2015 Grand Prix: BRONZE
- 2015 Pan American Games: BRONZE
- 2014 Grand Prix: SILVER
- 2014 USA Open: Gold
- 2013 Argentina Open: Gold
- 2009 World Taekwondo Championships (Welter): Gold
- 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics: BRONZE
- 2007 World Taekwondo Championships (Welter): Gold
- 2007 Sr. National Team Trials (Welter): 1st
- 2005 U.S. Olympic Committee Male Athlete of the Month (April)
- 2004 Athens Summer Olympics: Silver
- 2004 US Olympic Team Trials: Gold
- 2003 World Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 2003 World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament: Bronze
- Pan American Games: Gold (2003)
- 2002 World Cup Taekwondo Championships: Bronze
- 2002 Pan American Games: Gold
- 2001 World Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics: Gold
- 1999 Pan American Games: Gold
- 1999 Pan American Regional Olympic Qualifier: Gold
- 1998 World Cup Taekwondo Championships: Bronze
- 1998 Pan American Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 1997 World Cup Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 1996 Pan American Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 1996 World Junior Taekwondo Championships: Gold
- 1995 Pan American Taekwondo Championships: Silver
- 1994 World Cup Taekwondo Championships: Bronze
- 1993 Jr. Olympic: Bronze
As of today, Steven Lopez is estimated to have a net worth of around $4 million.
Steven Lopez | Personal Life
Apart from his professional life, Lopez is quite enclosed about his personal life, relationships, and dating. Apparently, it hasn’t been updated on who he has dated or who he is dating.
Speaking of dating, Steven Lopez had featured in Fox’s dating game show The Choice.
During that period, he appeared alongside a bachelor celebrity: Rob Kardashian, Finesse Mitchell (actor/comedian), and Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots tight end).
As the story expands, the girls would ask them on for a date. By the end, Steven had chosen a girl named Angelica, who loved to volunteer and cook.
Advancing further, Lopez is a Roman Catholic and can be seen attending St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas.
Apart from these kinds of stuff, Steven has also made an appearance in the Ellen Show and Oprah. Not only this, he with his siblings made a book named ‘Family Power’ in 2009, which is focused on their hardscrabble upbringing.
Sexual Assault and Permanent Ban
Everything is unpredictable! Believe me when I say it, as the news circulating in the Taekwondo world is about the legendary player, Steven Lopez. However, on this note and time, it’s totally a piece of different news.
To illustrate, Lopez had a hidden secret for more than a decade. Violating sport’s rules and moral ethics, Lopez has been proved guilty of misuse of his power by simply sexually assaulting girls.
Moreover, the case was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver by not only one or two girls but a total of six girls. Apparently, the issue isn’t only about sexual assault and trafficking but is far broader than it.
According to certain lawyers, they state that it’s not only a few girls but more than 29 of them who Steven Lopez and his elder brother, Jean, have assaulted.
To elaborate, this allegation first came into the spotlight in 2017 when the girls voiced the act. Consequently, alongside his friends, Steven Lopez drugged Audrey-Ann LeBlanc and Amber Means and then gang-raped her.
Following it, Mandy Meloon spoke about how Lopez molested her during the 2006 tournament when she was just 16 years old.
Likewise, Kay Poe and Gabriela Joslin also came forward with similar cases from Steven Lopez.
Furthermore, Heidi Gilbert stated to face the same situation with Jean Lopez and claimed to have a consensual relationship when 17. However, as in details, Jean was forcing him on her, and the next day, he pretended to know nothing.
To date, Lopez hasn’t been charged criminally. The lawsuits and complaints and the results were investigated for many years. Consequently, Jean and Steven Lopez were banned from games and stuff until they lifted Jean’s ban in 2019 and Steven’s in 2018.
However, they have denied all the allegations against them and stated it wasn’t the truth. Thus, Steven had even appealed his ban and requested arbitration.
“I’ve never been inappropriate with anyone. I’ve never — nothing, nothing at all. Nothing like that. Nothing close to that.”
Subsequently, it has been reported that they have been “permanently ineligible” from future competition.
“I’ve never been inappropriate with Heidi. I can’t say anything negative about her. She was my athlete. I was her coach, but I’ve never been inappropriate with her.”
“He said something like, ‘It’s okay,’ and began to kiss me and pushed me back onto the bed.”
“Next thing I know, he’s rubbing my hips, where I had the injury. It hit me like freaking darkness. I went somewhere else in my mind. I just waited for it to be over.”
“I started feeling really bad and felt so disgusting. Then, I was a f—— disaster. I had to get therapy, and I remember being a little bit suicidal. My situation was a little different. I had to quit the sport I loved because I was molested.”
“You are completely trapped. I had no option and was stuck. Also, I didn’t know about calling the cops. I definitely did not want to piss off my dad and was never taught anything about sex or normal stuff. Thus, I always knew it wasn’t right.”
What is the net worth of Steven Lopez?
The net worth of Steven Lopez is around four million dollars.
When was Steven Lopez banned lifted?
Steven Lopez banned was lifted in 2018.