World OutGames: Karate

Photo Credit: Andrew Delaware
Khoi Ho, 30, says he "saves the world one computer at a time." For the last five years, when he has not been working the helpdesk in Toronto, he has been practicing karate. We asked him about his experience training and here at the OutGames.

How was this competition for you?
This was a great group of [athletes], super friendly and I made a lot of friends. So I had a great time.

How did you prepare for the OutGames?
I trained with my sensei, who is very supportive. I'm openly gay in the dojo, everyone knows. My sensei is very supportive. He says, "Be what you can be and the best of what you can be, and I will always support you in budo." That's the karate way.

When you think back on the competition, what's going to be special for you?
The most special thing was seeing out of the corner of my eye a group of people who are very supportive, open minded. And in the ring, I had my new friends who I have just met, and I am competing. So it is a matter of three perspectives: outside looking in, inside competitor to competitor, and the judges. That's my moment of truth.

Were there any specific moves you made that you were excited to be able to use during the competition? What was fun and memorable for you?
The ability to zone in at the moment that was necessary for my kata, I will always remember that. Winning or losing, gold medal or bronze medal, it doesn't matter. It's about the experience, it's about process. It's the journey that counts, not the destination.