İrem Yaman, a world and European champion in women's taekwondo, said, "My biggest motivation is to prove that I can to those who say I can't." The 23-year-old added that she wants to inspire girls to pursue success against challenges. Yaman, who took up martial arts at the age of nine, has collected 30 gold medals in her 15-year career and said the path to victory starts "with dreaming."
"As far as I know, I always wanted to be a champion in the Olympics, and I am going towards my goal step-by-step." "My greatest victory was in 2015 when I won the world title and became the first Turkish woman in nearly two decades to win gold in a world championship. Every medal is somewhat special because of the challenges I had to overcome to win them and efforts I made in training for those competitions. Nowadays, she trains for the World Taekwondo Championships, which take place in Manchester, U.K. next month. Yaman was chosen female athlete of the year by the World Taekwondo Federation and said the award holds a special place for her.
"What matters most for me in having these awards is that they can inspire more girls to take up sports and encourage them to accomplish anything they wanted to do. Yaman laments the difficulties women face both in sports and in other fields. "Unfortunately, prejudice towards women prevails. You have barriers in front of you, and even if you overcome them, you receive little recognition. For me, these challenges are opportunities. People who say that I can't accomplish something motivate me. Medals I've won throughout my career are more than my personal success. Female athletes should inspire other women with their accomplishments," Yaman said.
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