Born in Doncaster, England in 1983, Sarah started her training at the Doncaster All Stars Taekwondo team. Sarah still remains a member of the Doncaster club and her first coach, Master Gary Sykes is still a close family friend and acknowledged as the driving force behind Sarah's success.
Sarah started to make a name for herself in 1998, by becoming Junior World Champion at the tender age of 15, followed by Junior European Champion in 1999.
First British Taekwondo World Champion
Sarah then qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, drawing the attention of Jackie Chan who sponsored her while promoting Shanghai Noon in the UK. Although not taking a medal in the 2000 Olympics (4th place), Sarah went on to become World Champion in 2001, the first British Taekwondo World Champion ever.
The most Memorable Athlete
Sarah has since become four times European Champion and World silver medallist in 2005. In 2008, Sarah competed in the Beijing Olympics with the extremely well documented controversy that led to Sarah being eliminated in the quarter finals after the referee failed to recognise clear points scored. The decision was later overturned but with 10 minutes to prepare, Sarah was always up against it. Even after losing this match and injuring her ankle in the process, Sarah came back to win the bronze medal, the first ever medal for GB Taekwondo and become one of the most memorable athletes from the Beijing games.
Consistently Competing at the Top Level
Not only has Sarah shown a consistent ability to compete at the top for a number of years, but has inspired many on and off the mat. She has recently set up ‘Sarah Stevenson Inspires’ which aims to educate and train young, aspiring athletes across a range of sports. Just a further example of why Sarah is a true ambassador to Great British sport. Sarah’s most recent sporting success came in May 2011 by becoming World Champion for the third time. Off the mat, Sarah was awarded an MBE in 2012 and was selected by her fellow athletes to read the Athlete oath at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Since then she has also been awarded an Honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University, all of these achievements will be put to good use as Sarah develops her career over the next few years, inspiring others.
Sarah has created her company Sarah Stevenson Inspires and is planning to continue to inspire, mentor and motivate young people to achieve and carry on the legacy that she has created for GB Taekwondo. Her links with charity are also very close to her heart and she will continue to support these as she moves into the next stage of her career.
"I am so proud of what I have achieved both on and off the mat. I am now committed to pass on my experiences and help other young people gain the life skills and opportunities that I have had over the years. My ambition is to keep raising the profile of Taekwondo as a sport and encourage all youngsters to feel the benefits that come from being involved in sport"