Paralympic bronze medallist Medell to be unstoppable at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

USA Paralympic taekwondo athlete Evan Medell won bronze at Tokyo 2020, but the tournament ended in frustration for him. He broke his leg early in his semi-final bout against Croatia's Ivan Mikulic and now his dream is to win Paralympic gold in Paris, Team USA reports.

"I just couldn't leave things like that in Tokyo. I want to have the ending that I feel in my heart. I was disappointed after my first Paralympic experience. I knew I could go on after Tokyo and I knew I could get even better. The broken foot was a freak thing, and there was nothing I could do about it," said Medell. 

"I don't even know how I fought through after the injury, except that it was the Paralympics and I wasn't going to stop if I didn't have to. This time, in Paris, I want to be even more ready and prepared to do the mission. I want to be unstoppable," he added. 

Medell, who grew up with brachial plexus palsy, a paralysis that affects the arm, began competing internationally in 2015 and quickly rose to the top of the sport. After winning the Paralympic bronze medal at +75 kg, Medell was forced to find a new class when his category was replaced by +70kg for the Paris quadrennial. He decided to move up to +80kg.

Evan Medell in action at the 2023 PanAm Games, where he won the gold medal. WT
Evan Medell in action at the 2023 PanAm Games, where he won the gold medal. WT

"Honestly, it's not going to affect me, it hasn't so far. I've always been ranked in the top 3-4, so it made sense to try it. I think the change got rid of the people who weren't big enough to hang in the class. It just looks like the people around me have got bigger, really. I can deal with that," Medell stressed. 

The 2019 and 2023 Pan American Games champion works in a factory as a welder from 6am to 2pm, and then spends his off hours in conditioning and training. His training schedule is in a cool mode at the moment, as he will start serious work later in the spring to prepare his body for Paris. For now, it's a case of getting the details right to get his conditioning in the right place for the hard work. 

"I want to be focused and think about everything I do. It's about being prepared in every way. I went to the World Championships after Tokyo without much preparation and I paid the price by blowing my hammy. I don't want to be like that when I have the chance to do more. I want Paris to be my best performance," he concluded.