American Taekwondo Association championships highlight diversity

It's tough. It's hard work. But that's Taekwondo for you.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- It's tough. It's hard work.

But that's Taekwondo for you.

The best of the best will be kicking, punching, and sparing all this weekend with hopes of leaving as a world champion. The participants come from miles away, including Brazil.

"The ATA has gotten bigger and better every year. Every year people from Brazil and all of South America make up the ATA family in the USA," said Rudolph Cardonali, a participant vying to become a world champion.

Cordonali says they train hard to get to Little Rock.  Because of that, it's easy to tell who's a pro and who needs practice.

But what's no joke is the attention the championship brings to the capital city.

"The visibility and exposure that brings to Little Rock is hard to put into words but it's going to be very big for our community," said Alan Sims of the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sims says the week-long event will pump around $5 million into the economy.  Plus, with all the different nationalities in town, Sims says it will show how Little Rock promotes diversity.

"It will touch every corner of our city. They'll be in all of our hotels, our restaurants. It's great exposure for the city," Sims said.

A trait the participants appreciate.

"They have a big hotel and good food around, and the people are so nice. So much hospitality around here," Cardonali said.

Click here to see a list of the scheduled events.
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