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NZ special needs Taekwondo team returns victorious

Newshub logoNewshub 10/08/2018 Newshub staff
New Zealand's special needs Taekwondo team has returned from the world champs in Argentina with its biggest ever haul of medals. 

One woman spoke to Newshub about transforming her life in hospital into becoming an athlete on the international stage. 

The 18 athletes have brought home 10 gold medals between them. 

Megan Chui won two gold medals and one silver. She has been doing taekwondo for three years and can't believe what she's managed to achieve in that time. 

She lives with the oddly named Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which means she has to strictly control her protein intake. She says it's a rare condition where she cannot consume proteins such as eggs. 

a group of people posing for a photo © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

As a little girl, Megan couldn't walk and needed 24-hour care. She was in and out of hospital all the time.  

It was a major funding hurdle to get the team to the world champs, but the organisers believe the effort was worth it. And also for their mums dads and caregivers, who say "support is definitely the biggest thing the athlete needs". 

For Megan, it's still a daily medical struggle. But competing at this level has done her a power of good. She says she gets "really nervous" but also feels very proud of herself. 

After a week off, the team will start training for the next world champs in Russia. 

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