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Since the age of 6, Andres Pizarro had dreamed of being a tae kwon do champion, to become the best in the world.

Six years ago, Pizarro was given his first shot, a tournament in Colorado. His only problem: He had no coach.

"My coach when I was younger, he actually didn't want to go coach me," the Juan Diego senior said. "He told me he didn't have the time. So, I went to Colorado State alone when I was 12. My brother was coaching me because I had no coach."

It was a turning point in Pizarro's life — not only did he gain experience at the tournament, but it was also the day he met William Pace of Pace Taekwondo Academy.

"I noticed he had a really raw talent," Pace said. "I told his father, 'Look, if you let me train him, I'll train him on my time. Don't worry about anything. I'll train him.' "

Pace admits the first year was rocky. He knew it would take a while to turn Pizarro's raw talent into polished talent.

The big awakening came during an international tournament, the US Open in New Orleans.

"It was pretty amazing," Pace said. "Andres ended up beating the national champion 7 to -1. He crushed him. From that point on, it was crazy. He started winning. He started creating a name for himself."

That name has since been engraved on several medals. Pizarro is a four-time Gold medalist in the Utah State championships, a three-time Gold medalist in the Utah Summer games, and took Silver in USA Nationals in 2009.

While his goal remains making the USA National Team in July, his real dream is showing his mother back in Venezuela the man he's become.

Pizarro has it all planned out.

"I'm going to make the national team this summer, fly out to Venezuela, see my mom, show her the Tae Kwon Do National Team jacket with the big USA on the back. That's what I strive for, to see my mom, to have her see I became someone."

Pace Taekwondo Academy took Overall Best School in the 2011 Utah State Championships, but Pace confesses the accolade doesn't mean much to him.

The real reward is seeing who Pizarro has become — and the example he is to the other kids who dream of competing.

"Kids like Andres really are one in a million. You don't meet kids like that." Pace said.

"He's been a great example. He makes it very easy when I go to a tournament to give people a good idea of how it's supposed to be done, what hard work looks like."