Since her young age her mother was taking a good care of her and was planning for her future to become one of the most incredible champions in the world. She saw the elements of the hero in her daughter, and she believed that she will become someday one of the Egyptians champions of Taekwondo around the world. Although the journey towards the championship and stardom came by chance, she participated in a large number of competitions in about 38 countries around the world, and won more than 80 medals and more than 30 Cups whether in the national championships or regional or even global.
To get to know more details about the world champion Caroline Maher, Follow our exclusive interview with her in the following lines.
How did you start your journey with Taekwondo?
I started it by chance, when I was watching a friend of mine at school while playing it, and then my mother encouraged me to play it too. I traveled to take part in a contest in Germany, and the idea of traveling returns to my mom. I got a silver medal in less than a year and after that I joined the junior national team and I was taking training with older people than me, they were 18 years old and I was just 13 years old.
What are the tournaments that got?
I got more than 120 medals and cups in local, Arab and African and international competition and even in the World Cup competitions too. I have obtained the fifth place in the World Championship in Korea, and I got second place in the World Cup Frankfon, I also won the title of the Africa and the Arabs more than once and according to the International Federation of Taekwondo rankings:
Grade 2 in 2009 in the flyweight category Grade 6 in 2010 in the flyweight category Ranked 11th in 2011 in the Bantam Weight category Ranked 25 globally in 2013 in the featherweight category due to a change in weight class
I am also a certified instructor for advanced level, accredited international referee among the top 10 athletes in Egypt for three times, I was selected among the top 12 female athletes in Egypt by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, also won awards as the best player of Taekwondo in many tournaments, I won the AUC award as the best player of Taekwondo for four years and I was the first one to propose the idea of creating a team for people with disabilities to the Egyptian Federation of Taekwondo.
In addition to, I am the first player In Egypt, the Arab world and Africa who has been honored in the United States at “Hall of Fame” as one of the best players of taekwondo in the world.
This unique appreciation is the culmination of my efforts over the years, and then, a tribute to the sport in general and the Egyptian Taekwondo Federation, which is like the Oscars for athletes as well. I also have been honored from the United Nations last June within the achievements of women "The Women Achievement".
What are the difficulties and obstacles that you have faced?
I think that we have to overcome every obstacle, but the most difficult situation I have faced was in 2011 when my sample of analysis has changed and replaced by another one to prove that it contains Doping and hormones masculinity, so I traveled and contracted with an American lawyer and raised the case in front of the international court Switzerland, and I raised the case on my own expenses, and I was the first girl in Egypt to win a case in the International Federation and after testing the sample they proved that it’s incorrect, and then after that I took an offset by the costs of the case after 8 months I'm having a tough problem alone without any support.
What about your own life? I work in the field of HR (Human Resources) and I got an MBA from Victoria University, Switzerland, in addition to supervision on an organization that aims to help people with special needs in the field of training and employment in companies, I have also offered to the Egyptian Federation to organize Taekwondo world tournaments for people with disabilities, and I'll be responsible for training them to achieve their goals.
Did Taekwondo steal your feminine dreams?
In order to achieve your dreams you must give up many things, including the practices of girls in this age like hanging out and traveling, I was deprived of them because of being between camps and studying in order to convince my parents that I am superior in my sport and my studies. I was in a tough test between achieving championships and hard studying.
Does the sport affect the way you take care of yourself as a girl?
Of course not, for two reasons: the first is the presence of my mother in my life, she is always helping me, and also because since my childhood I learned how to manage my time well and have priorities and that’s what helped me to achieve a lot. I can’t also forget my father as he helped me a lot and paid for me many travels because of his faith in me.
Did you think of establishing an academy to teach taekwondo?
(Laugh) the idea belongs to my dad, but my problem i s that I don’t have time as like to work, study and develop myself, but the idea remained.
How do you plan for your future?
I'm trying to focus on my work on Taekwondo, and I can help the new generations, in addition to my dream of creating the team for people with disabilities in order to help them achieve their dreams and gain more experience.
What is your message to the girls?
I would like to tell them that they should start playing any kind of sport at an early age as it will teach them everything, and also that they have to follow their dreams even if they won’t achieve all of them, they will be satisfied by the attempt itself. They have to be patient and overcome any kind of obstacles to make their dreams come true.
- Lara Debbane Crowned Miss Egypt 20142014-09-28