A South Huntington student with a passion for karate has won a bronze medal in his division at this year’s Junior Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Kaiet Coraizaca, a first-degree black belt and eighth-grader at Henry L. Stimson Middle School in Huntington Station, was one of about 90 athletes this summer representing Team USA at the games in Brazil. He placed third in the 12- to 13-year-old Male Elite Kumite Division (less than 50 kg), the school said.
To be eligible for the games, Coraizaca took first place earlier this year in the same division at the USA National Karate Championships & Team Trials in Nevada.
“It was a very great experience representing the U.S.,” said Coraizaca, 13, who said he started pursuing karate at the age of 7. “The team was very strong, and I’m glad I got a medal.”
Coraizaca’s other karate achievements include placing third in the 12- to 13-year-old Elite Kata Division at the Karate1 Youth League competition in Bulgaria. He trains at Kai Leung’s Shotojuku in Queens.
“I get my inspiration from other athletes that work so hard, and I see myself as being one of them,” Coraizaca said. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
Coraizaca also plays violin, speaks French and is a member of his school’s track and cross-country teams and National Junior Honor Society.