"It's the best opportunity I've ever had in my life"
Twelve year old Devon Brown of Pasco and 13 year old Anjelica Rivera of Yakima have now experienced something only a precious few athletes get to --- standing at the top a medal podium, wrapped in Old Glory, while being declared world champion.
"Awesome," said Brown, "It's the best opportunity I've ever had in my life."
Both Devon and Anjelica won gold in Kata at the International World Championship Tournament in Melbourne, Australia -- they also won bronze in sparring as well.
Both were invited a few months ago to represent the United States, along with other karate experts from across the world.
"Going over to Australia to compete with the world; it's you doing what you know, but it's also reflecting your country," said Rivera.
"I'm still in complete surprise and shock and awe... everything," said Anjelica's father, Hector Rivera, "Here she is, this little small spitfire walking away with even third place and doing as well as she did."
Both kids have devoted countless hours to perfecting their craft at karate schools.
Instructors say they couldn't be clearer examples of how hard work can pay off.
"You push them, and you push them every day in class, and you keep telling them 'this is what we're training for, this is what we're training for,' and for them to go and execute, it's just proof you train hard, you earn amazing accomplishments," said karate instructor Zack Gonzales.
Although both walked away at the top of their division, there's still more room left to climb.
"Keep training for either the next time, or nationals in a month," said Brown.
Anjelica Rivera wants to see karate brought into the Olympics, where she hopes to compete one day.
"Until then, I'm just starting back from the bottom and working my way back up," said Rivera.
Both Devon and Anjelica tells us they plan on competing in the national tournament held in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the end of June.