Inspired by a love of Jackie Chan films, Sarah Stevenson was a teenage prodigy in taekwondo winning both European and World junior championships and the British senior title by the age of sixteen. Still only seventeen at the Sydney Olympics she lost only by judges’ decision in the semi-finals then missed a bronze medal by a single point. Stevenson won a gold medal at the 2001 World Championship and silvers at the 2001 and 2004 European Championships but her Athens Olympic campaign once again ended in disappointment when she lost a close decision in her first fight. Stevenson continued to add to her medal collection by placing second at the 2005 World Championships and winning the European title in both 2005 and 2006. Returning to the Olympic arena for a third time in Beijing she appeared to have suffered another heartbreaking defeat at the hands of a Chinese rival in the last eight of the competition. In a decision without precedent in the history of taekwondo an appeals committee ruled, on video evidence, that she unfairly denied two points which would have won her the match. After being reinstated into the competition she went on to win the bronze medal. She added another European Championship in 2010 before winning the world welterweight title for the first time in 2011. Stevenson took the oath on behalf of the athletes at the 2012 London Olympics but could not add another medal to go with her Beijing bronze. She retired from competitive taekwondo in 2013.