9-year-old Raytown black belt eyes Olympics in 2024 - KCTV5 News

9-year-old Raytown black belt eyes Olympics in 2024

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Alex Kramer started practicing taekwondo for self-defense, but since then, her practice has taken a big turn. (KCTV5) Alex Kramer started practicing taekwondo for self-defense, but since then, her practice has taken a big turn. (KCTV5)
RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -

A little girl from Raytown packs a punch so big she’s being eyed up from some of the best in the world.

Alex Kramer started practicing taekwondo for self-defense, but since then, her practice has taken a big turn.

Alex is small but mighty. At Pruter’s Taekwondo in Lee’s Summit, the 9-year-old is proof that big things can come in the littlest of packages.

“I’m usually fighting people taller than me,” she said.

Four years and countless competitions ago, she did not think she’d have a chance at being successful.

“I never did taekwondo in my life,” Alex said.

Then, she discovered what would become her hidden talent.

“I was good at it ... and I liked it," she said.

Alex is so good that she’s earned gold medals taking on competitors bigger than her in both weight and age. She’s found in cities all across the country and has earned 29 medals in just four years.

But no medal compares to the praise the Spring Hill Elementary fourth-grader recently received from Olympian Terrence Jennings, one of the top taekwondo fighters in the world. He was recruiting at a sparring session when he noticed her talent and told Alex’s dad that she should set her sights big.

“It was kind of a shock,” Alex’s dad, John Kramer, said.

“Go to the Olympics and be the best I can be," said Alex when asked what her plans are for the future.

Jennings, her instructors, and Alex’s dad all say that with her level of practice so far, it’s a real possibility.

“At this time I really do. She’s 100% bought into this sport,” John Kramer said.

Alex just received her black belt and up to four lessons each week.

With all her strength, it’s tough to believe her hidden talent was revealed thanks to a problem so many kids are forced to face.

Alex was having some trouble with bullying in school. From there, taekwondo changed her life on and off the mat.

“It helped me stick up to bullies and other people who are bully others,” she said.

It’s clear taekwondo is as much about physical skill, as it is a determined mind. What Alex lacks in size, is no match for the confidence and determination he’s gained inside.

“I see all those Olympians that do it and that makes me want to do it. I could do it too,” she said.

Alex’s first chance at the Olympics would be 2024 when she turns 16. 

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