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Jackie Galloway Celebrates Taekwondo Bronze with U.S., Mexican Fans

Excerpt

The following is from the Aug. 20, 2016, edition of The Wall Street Journal.

August 22, 2016

By Reed Johnson

Jackie Galloway
Jackie Galloway
(Photo by Smiley N. Pool of The Dallas Morning News)

Most Olympic medalists get saluted loudly by just one country. When Jackie Galloway of the U.S. won a bronze in taekwondo Saturday night, she had two equally ecstatic national cheering sections, one Mexican, the other U.S.

The 20-year-old heavyweight’s Tex-Mex heritage gives Galloway dual citizenship. She made the Mexican taekwondo team at 14 years old and was named an alternate to Mexico’s 2012 Olympic team, then returned to Texas and hitched her wagon to Team USA. She made her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro.

On Saturday, Galloway faced the older and heavier Gwladys Epangue of France. By the third round, Galloway had built a 2-0 lead over Epangue and prevailed with the speed and fluidity that have defined her maturing style. The 2-1 final score had fans of both of Galloway’s homelands standing side by side in the Arena Carioca 3, waving Old Glory and the Mexican tri-color, while Galloway paraded with a U.S. flag.

On Saturday, she rallied to win a bronze after being knocked out of the semifinals by María del Rosario Espinoza of — as fate would have it — Mexico. Espinoza ended up with the silver, while China’s Zheng Shuyin got the gold.

Galloway has her long-term future planned out, as she is studying mechanical engineering at Southern Methodist University. But, given her age, and the poise and technical polish she displayed Saturday, her greatest athletic moments may be still to come. Expect to see more of her—and more bilingual, bicultural U.S. Olympians — in the years ahead.