Janiry Mora Can Kick It

Kelsey Heffernan, Social Media Manager

Janiry Mora is not your average Bingham High School senior. Mora is a nationally ranked Taekwondo champion.

She has competed in Korea as a part of Team USA, where they got fourth place overall. This was a dream come true for Mora, who never thought she would make it so far when she was just a nine year old girl learning to do kicks in a class full of boys.

Mora was first introduced to Taekwondo when a girl from her school brought in her Taekwondo teachers and they taught the class moves. Ever since that day she had a love for the sport. At age 11 she got a black belt in Karate, and by age 15 she had her black belt in Taekwondo.

When Mora first began Taekwondo, there were not many girls involved in the sport. “When I was in elementary and junior high I didn’t tell anyone I did Taekwondo because it was kind of a boy sport; only my best friends knew. But now I realize that people think it’s cool, so I like to tell people,” said Mora.

Mora’s biggest accomplishments in her Taekwondo career have been her first place finishes at tournaments. She got first place in a tournament in California, which qualified her to compete in Korea. And another one of her first place finishes in California qualified and paid for her to compete in Mexico.

But getting these first place finishes and competing at international tournaments was not something that came easy for Mora. She had to practice Monday through Friday, and make a lot of sacrifices. “I wasn’t able to go to a lot of school activities, like football games on Friday nights. And I would miss out on little things like hanging out with friends,” said Mora.

Mora does not regret the time and effort she put in to accomplish her goals, and she continues to help younger kids do the same by being a Taekwondo teacher.

“My favorite part about teaching is getting to know the kids and seeing how they improve, because they come in not knowing anything.  Little by little I see how much they grow, and I love it, ” said Mora.

According to KSL, “The class she teaches is a far cry from the one she started out with — it’s full of girls, and they know all about Janiry. The owner of National Taekwondo says many of them enrolled because of her, although she’s predictably modest.”

After high school, Mora plans to continue training. When asked if she has any future plans of competing at the next Olympics, she said, “That’s hard to say right now. But anything is possible, so who knows.”