Guillermo Pérez (taekwondo)
|Competitor for Mexico|
|Gold||2008 Beijing||58 kg|
At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Pérez won the gold medal in the −58 kg category. Pérez defeated Dominican Gabriel Mercedes on August 20, 2008. The match ended 1–1 after four rounds, but Pérez was deemed superior by unanimous decision.
Pérez started taekwondo at 5 years old, citing Bruce Lee films as his inspiration. By the age of 10, Pérez won his first state tournament in Michoacán. Such success was the gate to compete nationally, earning a bronze medal in his first national competition. In 1989, he achieved first place at the national infant competition. In 1995 he traveled to Ottawa to assist his first international competition, placing second. Later on in 1996, he was the first place winner at the Taekwondo U.S. Open, in which more than 60 countries participated.
Mexican National Team
Pérez moved to Puebla in 1999 to train with the Olympic champion William de Jesús, who helped give 20-year-old Pérez the experience to get into the national team after unsuccessfully trying to enter it before. He finally became part of the Mexican taekwondo team that traveled to the Pan American Games of 1999 in Winnipeg, Canada.
In April 2005, he traveled to Madrid to compete in the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships, placing ninth. Three years later, he won second place at the Dutch Open, which gave him the opportunity to participate in the Beijing 2007 World Taekwondo Championships in the flyweight (−58 kg) category. There, Pérez won the silver medal, losing to Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain in the final.
Earning the gold medal put Pérez among a select few for Mexico, giving the feat historical importance. His win marked only the third gold medal for Mexico since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and the first for a male since the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the 11th gold medal ever for the Mexicans, and the country's 53rd overall Olympic medal.
- Beijing profile
- Taekwondo Men −58kg Medallists – The official website of the BEIJING 2008 Olympic Games
- Gana México oro en Taekwondo