How the Power Rangers Helped Jenny Quezada Become a Taekwondo Olympian
Gen-C Teaser: Jenny Quezada | FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW COMING SOON!
Some of us can recognize the iconic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme song “Go Go Power Rangers,” but local taekwondo martial artist, Jenny Quezada, knows it by heart. One day while at a garage sale, Quezada’s mother picked up a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers VHS tape as a surprise for her daughter. After putting the tape into the player and watching it for the first time, Quezada was immediately hooked. At the time, she didn’t speak English but was able to fall in love with the action, movement, and passion from those six iconic rangers. She would fight by their side, kicking and striking away and for years she begged her parents to sign her up for a martial arts class. As a present for her eighth birthday, Quezada finally got her wish: a one-month trial to taekwondo classes.
That one month trial was enough to transform Quezada’s passion into unbelievable opportunities. Throughout her childhood and into her adulthood, Jenny made training a part of her daily life. Just by following her dream to be a ultimate Power Ranger, Quezada received a $15,000 sports scholarship to Arizona State University. Her 10 years of martial art experience had set her apart from her peers and made her shine. Quezada’s advice to young creatives are to “find those passions, pursue those possibilities and then you’ll see that doors just open up.”
Not only did these taekwondo classes give Quezada amazing opportunities, but it also helped build her as a person. “The time and effort that I put into taekwondo actually helped me succeed in the classroom.” Flexibility, time management, and mindfulness of others are all skills that Quezada gained through her art form. She was able to take the lessons that she learned on the mat and apply them to her day-to-day life. Now, Quezada is a Power Ranger of her own. As a Master Instructor at First Taekwondo Arizona, Quezada inspires and empowers children who aim to be just like her. What makes Quezada feel like a successful teacher is not when her students achieve their next belt, but when they apply the life skills taught in the studio to their outside life.
The best part that Quezada got out of following her passions was not the money or awards, but a second family. Throughout her journey, Quezada was able to build a community that strengthened her martial arts skills and herself personally. Without all of their guidance, Quezada would not be where she is now. “If you’re surrounded by a support system your cause and your values and your mission, then there’s no failing.”
Jenny is currently training to be a part of the 2020 U.S Olympic team. Quezada placed second in her weight class at the 2016 American taekwondo qualifier, narrowly missing an opportunity to represent Team USA. Jenny is determined to make the 2020 U.S Olympic team and hopes to reach her dreams of standing on that tallest podium with the U.S flag waving behind her back.