Living. Growing. Prospering.
Douglasville, Ga. – Douglas County Board of Commission Chair, Dr. Romona Jackson Jones welcomed the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Karate team during a Tuesday morning visit on May 29, 2018. Nineteen-year-old Sabrina Hostettler-Kheder, a Douglas County native, stopped by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners office for an opportunity to speak with Chairman Jones on the latest before she leaves for South America to compete. During the morning meeting, Hostettler shared how busy she's been in pursuing her dream of representing the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
One day after returning from Plano, Texas where she was training with the U.S. Olympic Karate team, Hostettler, a Douglas County High School graduate, sat and updated Chairman Jones on her upcoming hectic schedule which includes a trip in June to Santiago, Chile for the Pan American Championships. "I'm so excited about this year," Hostettler said. "It's an exciting time for Karate because the sport makes its debut in the Olympics for the very first time at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games."
After winning first place and the top seed in Women's Kumite, (Karate sparring) earlier this year, Hostettler ranks as the top women's representative for Team USA and one of only five women in the nation on the World Championship Team.
"Hostettler represents how important focusing on health, fitness, and dedication is at a young age," Chairman Jones said. "I'm so excited about her future and how she represents the strength of Douglas County."
In the office of the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Hostettler broke out with a giant smile looking around the decorated office. Moments later Chairman Jones came from behind her desk and greeted the youngest member of Team USA with a hug.
Hostettler possesses a passion and love for Karate, not only as Team USA's youngest member, but she's also recognized in the world, ranked #3 in junior karate competition. Love and support continue to grow for Sabrina Hostettler after her front page cover on Chapel Hill News & Views for the April 2018 edition. Hostettler believes the love, support, and encouragement she's receiving from the Douglas County community is invaluable just like her mom.
Hostettler's mom, Samantha Hostettler, owns a Karate dojo in Douglas County, called Champion Karate and Fitness where Sabrina trains when she's in town. At the age of three, Hostettler's mom introduced the sport to her and through the principles of developing personal character, physical strength, confidence and discipline at such a young age, Sabrina, made the U.S. National junior team at the age of 12.
By winning first place, Hostettler will compete in the world's most prestigious events including the honor of competing in the Pan-American championships and the World Championships which besides the Olympics are the most significant martial arts events in the world. Hostettler shared during her meeting every athlete dreams about going to the Olympics but it's expensive, and part of Hostettler's journey to the Olympics for 2020 requires her to compete internationally approximately ten times a year. "The United States Olympic Karate Organization does not fund many of those tournaments," Hostettler said. "I'm grateful for all those who are contributing to my GoFundMe account."
After the meeting with Chairman Jones, Hostettler said, "I enjoyed today's meeting because it was so motivating knowing that I have the support of my town. It makes me want to give it my all at every event and represent the U.S. the best I can."