Olympics are a family affair for Lopez siblings


A strip mall like any other.

But inside its dojo, it's the realm of champions.

Here reigns the Lopez family, Tae Kwon Do athletes and Olympic champs.

Steven Lopez pounds out an hour and half workout under the sharp eye of Jean, his coach and older brother.

NAT SOUND Jean Lopez (English, 4 sec):
"Passion there! Passion! Yeah attack in there, attack it, attack it!"

Steven took the gold at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Now 33 years old, he's training for this summer's London games, determined to best his third-place finish in Beijing.

SOUNDBITE 1 Steven Lopez (man), Olympic Tae Kwon Do athlete (English, 13 sec) :
"You know I took a bronze, my sister took a bronze, and my other brother took a silver. So we are very proud. And going into these Olympic Games, I'm training very hard to get back that Gold medal that I lost in 2008."

He's not the only one here seeking Olympic gold.

Steven practices with another brother, and with his sister, Diana -- who's also headed to London.

They train with other top athletes from North and South America.

But what sets them apart is their mental strength and tight family bond.

SOUNDBITE 2 Steven Lopez (English, 11 sec):
"Sometimes of course your body is gonna be sore or it's gonna be tired but what you can bring every single day is your mentality of being the best, of thinking every kick that you kick it's gonna score a point."

SOUNDBITE 3 Diana Lopez (English, 13 sec):
"When I'm feeling down, or sick, or tired, you know I look over to my left and to my right and they are giving a 100 percent and so I have to push myself, and vice versa. If they are feeling tired, I give all my energy to lift up their spirit."

Sibling rivalry got Diana, the youngest, to follow her brothers into Taekwondo.

At 5'10" and 126 pounds, she's a lean, mean kicking machine -- not one to sit on the sidelines.

SOUNDBITE 4 Diana Lopez (English, 11 sec):
"I also have three older brothers and a father who are very protective of me. But they know I can handle myself very well. I do taekwondo. So if anyone ever gets out of line, I can just kick them."

Kicks she usually saves for her opponents.

And she hopes that in London, her savage strikes will lead her to the victor's stand, just like her brother.



- exterior shot of Lopez family Tae Kwon Do dojo
- interior shot of dojo
- various shots of Tae Kwon Do athletes training, including Steven and Diana Lopez
- NAT SOUND Jean Lopez
- various shots of Steven Lopez training
- SOUNDBITE 1 Steven Lopez
- various shots of athletes training in the dojo
- SOUNDBITE 2 Steven Lopez
- various shots of Steven and Diana
- SOUNDBITE 3 Diana Lopez
- various shots of Steven and Diana training
- overlay shot of Diana and Steven kicking at the camera