Tough Love

In the ring with teen taekwondo champ Chloe Towns

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  • Written by
    Darren Elms

When she was 4 and taking classes at Gymboree, Chloe Towns would walk next door with her parents and watch a taekwondo class in progress. Noticing the young girl’s obvious interest, the master of the gym eventually invited Chloe to join in. The rest is history.

Now a sophomore at Mira Costa, the athlete relishes in a sport that allows her to compete as an individual yet enjoy the camaraderie and bond of teamwork. And work she does—day and night training sessions, nutrition, weigh-ins, mental preparation—all vital pieces of her pre-competition routine. 

“When I get called to fight, it’s really quite stressful,” she shares. “I just keep breathing and get in the zone. That huge surge of anxiety actually boosts up my energy.”

In 2012 the young competitor won the U.S. Open for taekwondo, a huge international competition and a great achievement. “For a while my biggest goal was to be an Olympian, and I’d still love to be one,” she says. “But my goal is to be happy with what I’ve done in the sport so far. I want to look back when I’m older and not regret the path I took with it.”