Kathy Poe and Esther Kim were best friends. They were also competing to represent the US in taekwondo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Working through separate sides of the draw they both made it to the final of the Olympic trials. Whichever of them won would go to the Games. Poe however dislocated her knee in the previous match and couldn’t compete. Then came an incredible act of friendship. Knowing her friend’s knee would be healed by the Games Esther Kim forfeited the match and her spot on the Olympic team.
“You will have the gold medal around your neck and I feel inside I have a gold medal in my heart,” she said. “There are other ways to be a champion. A real martial artist is a champion everyday in life, too.”