American beauty queen Nia Sanchez was named a global taekwondo ambassador on Monday.
The Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation introduced the 2014 Miss USA as its latest goodwill ambassador. Sanchez is a fourth-degree black belt in the traditional Korean martial art and began practicing at the age of 8.
The 25-year-old is the first Miss Nevada and the fourth Hispanic to win Miss USA. She represented the country at the 2014 Miss Universe and finished as the first runner-up.
Sanchez started teaching the martial art at 12 and became a certified instructor three years later. She has called taekwondo "a full-body workout."
At her appointment ceremony, Sanchez said it has been "a dream of mine to come to Korea."
"Taekwondo has always been a part of my life that I value so much," she said. "I've learned discipline, integrity and perseverance. The life skills I've learned from taekwondo have helped me become successful in all parts of my life. Because of what I've learned in taekwondo, I was able to become Miss USA. Now, I have this platform as Miss USA to share taekwondo with the rest of the world."
During her stay here, Sanchez will visit Kukkiwon, also known as the world taekwondo headquarters, in Seoul and attend the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Taekwondo Hanmadang, an annual festival organized by Kukkiwon, in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.
Sanchez will head back home on Saturday. (Yonhap)