North Shore’s Lindy Joy Crouch is Australia’s new Golden Girl of ITF Taekwon-Do, after winning two Gold medals at the International Taekwon-Do Federation’s Special Needs World Championships in Argentina.

Lindy was Australia’s first Down syndrome athlete to compete at the ITF World Championships, in the first fully fledged ITF Special Needs international event. She was featured with her coach Phill Zdybel and fellow competitor Joshua Zdybel in the Term 3 edition of Northerly Aspects.

Lindy Joy won Gold in the Adult individual yellow belt patterns, and also in the Mixed abilities event. She teamed up with Joshua Zdybel to perform self defence against weapon attacks and an unarmed assailant.

Lindy Joy was featured on the International Taekwon-Do Federation website following her win. The website reported:

“She trains twice weekly at Geelong Taekwon-Do, under the guidance of 5th Degree instructor Phillip Zdybel. Mr Zdybel also acted as Head Coach of the National team, as well as competing himself.

He describes Lindy as a ‘very spirited young lady who show a lot of determination along the way and put in the extra work attending regular pool sessions’ in addition to regular training.

Despite her special needs, Lindy trains in the regular class and does all the same drills and conditioning as the black belts. This was evident in her performance in Argentina.

President Master Michael Muleta said it was a fantastic result for Lindy and the Australian team. He also noted how the Taekwon-Do special needs section had grown since its inception in 2016. So much so, that the national organisation now has a Special Needs Committee to further develop the program domestically.

“Lindy now has her eyes firmly set on the 2020 ITF World Championships in Russia, where she hopes to return as a high colour belt.”

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