30 Reasons To Watch: #18

Will Steven Lopez, the greatest taekwondo performer ever, win a third gold — and can it become a family affair on the podium with a possible win by his sister Diana?

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

By Mike Tierney, Special to Universal Sports

As a child, Steven Lopez accompanied his father, a martial arts fan, to movies that featured kung fu fighting. Now, as a grown-up, Lopez’ name is in bright lights, if not as bright as for Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

Lopez is the flag-bearer for the sport of taekwondo. He hopes to kick (and punch) up another storm in London and win a third Olympic gold medal for the U.S., plus get that ugly (for him) color of bronze out of mind. He placed third in 2008.

You don’t want to mess with Lopez. His height (6-foot-2) allows him to land kicks that others cannot. At 33, he is experienced but not over the hill. He benefits from onsite support of family: brother Jean is his coach, sister Diana also competes for the U.S. and brother Mark, a former Olympics, is his training partner.

After the disappointment in Beijing, is it time for Steven to get even?

We will be counting down our top 30 Reasons To Watch each day until opening ceremonies. Check here for more!

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