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11-year-old Utah boy with autism wins Taekwondo championship

A boy from Utah, diagnosed with autism, has defied stereotypes to become a Taekwondo champion.  Ethan Fineshriber, was diagnosed with autism aged three, but eight years later has found himself receiving a perfect score from the judges at the ATA World Championships.

Worried about his lack of social skills, friends and the amount of exercise he was getting, Ethan’s mother signed him up for Taekwondo classes in the hope that it would teach him to interact with others as well as keep him active. Ethan took to Taekwondo straight away, and the sport has even helped him develop skills such as determination, discipline and self-confidence.

After he began to win national titles, Ethan set his sights on a new goal – competing in a world championship. After starting his mission three years ago, Ethan competed at the ATA World Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas in July. He was initially worried that he wasn’t going to win, but when the judges called his number out, it became clear that his determination had paid off.

As he was declared the champion, Ethan’s team lifted him onto their shoulders and his friends rushed onto the ring to celebrate. The sight brought Ethan’s mother to tears – not only because of the boy’s sporting accomplishment, but because he had finally found the acceptance that had initially eluded him.

Check out Ethan's awesome skills below!

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