DENVER (CBS4) – This week, Colorado welcomed home a world champion in the sport of karate.
Kamran Madani, 21, brought home the gold from the World University Championships in Japan.
“I just remember shaking my fists like, Yes!” he said.
When Madani says he has been learning karate for as long as he can remember, he is serious.
“This was the play spot, the training spot, the hang out, whatever it was this was the spot,” he said with a laugh.
That spot is the International Martial Arts Studio in Louisville. The same spot his parents opened more than 20 years ago.
“He was a lot younger right here,” his dad Cyrus Madani said about a picture on the wall. “He came from the national championships and he got two medals.”
Last week, Madanis years of training and countless hours competing for Team USA at all levels paid off.
“Once the buzzer sounded I was just like… I still get chills, it’s just an excited feeling,” he said.
He’ll compete in a new country every month for the next two years, working to improve his world ranking and land a spot on the Olympic team.
“Honestly, this is like a separate category for awesome stuff that has happened,” Madani said.
He is doing it all while getting his degree online from the University of Colorado Denver.
“I remember I was in my room in the middle of Dubai and I was writing an essay for one of my psychology classes,” he said.
As well as continuing to coach, a role he says might just be more rewarding than winning that world championship.
“It’s huge, it’s like the whole reason for it,” he said,” While individual success is great it feels good to be able to help someone out even in the slightest way.”
Madani is on track to graduate CU next spring and he could always use sponsors to help with get him to different events.
His next competition is in Iran. You can watch the 84 kilo weight division online.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.