As the 2020 Summer Olympics draw closer, athletes from all over the world are working to qualify for the games, and that includes a Chillicothe native with a talent for martial arts.
Ashley Hill is the daughter of former world karate champion, Tokey Hill. She's currently in training for a big bout this month that will help her earn the points she needs to make it to Tokyo, Japan in 2020.
"For the next year and a half, I'll be competing around the world trying to get a spot for the Olympics in 2020," said Hill. "Right now I qualify to compete at the Pan-American Championships this March in Panama, so I'm currently in New York and I'm training towards that competition. It's one of the major competitions that I can accumulate points to possibly compete in the 2020 Olympics."
Ashley will be competing as a member of USA Karate under the expert coaching prowess of her father. She talks about her training regiment in preparation for the Pan-American Championships, and ultimately the Olympics.
"The biggest thing is consistency," said Hill. "I have a really great training program that my father and coach, Tokey Hill, put in place for me. It basically encompasses karate training, and then I have my Plyometrics training which develops my muscle fibers allowing me to be quick and agile, and then I have my conditioning program which allows me to explode and be strong in the ring."
Now 31, Ashley says she got her start in karate at the young age of four, and went on to win her first national karate championship at the age of seven. She says her years of hard work would mean nothing without the help and support she's received from her friends, family and teammates, and of course her father, mentor and head coach, Tokey Hill. She also provides a gracious thank you to Jack at American Legion Post 62 for his sponsorship.