With over 153 medals in competitions around the world, a 9-year-old taekwondo prodigy from Lebanon County recently received another honor.
At the Lebanon City Multicultural Festival on Saturday October 2, Mayor Sherry Capello announced that October 2 will be Joshua Aguirre Day in the city.
“Lebanon in Pennsylvania is very proud to call him our son and we believe his accomplishments are a shining example of ‘Lebanon – the place to grow up’,” the proclamation read.
Aguirre, born and raised in Lebanon City, recently won four gold medals at the 2021 Florida Open International Online Taekwondo Championships and won the Grand Taekwondo title at the 2020 AAU Junior Olympics. the youngest to receive a second degree black belt in taekwondo at the age of seven.
The 9-year-old happily showed off some of his stage moves on Saturday.
“It was very difficult doing those kicks because I had sneakers on,” Aguirre said, adding that these moves are usually done barefoot, but no one in the audience seemed to notice.
Milena Escolar, Aguirre’s mother, said he also surprised the audience by saying a few sentences in Spanish. Escolar is Colombian and Aguirre’s father, Jorge Aguirre, is Cuban.
“They’ve gone mad,” she said of the audience. “They didn’t know he spoke Spanish.
Even the mayor was swept away by his brief speech and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek as he shared his gratitude for his continued support over the years.
“I was in shock,” he said as his mother laughed in the background.
In addition to a full day and a kiss on the mayor’s cheek, Wayne Carey, Lebanon city councilor and owner of Candy Rama at the Lebanon Farmer’s Market, gave Aguirre a basket of candy.
Aguirre was also recognized for his accomplishments in the Senate on September 27. Governor Tom Wolf even sent Aguirre a congratulatory letter by post.
He hopes to see everyone dress up with their karate child (or adult) for Joshua Aguirre’s day.
“I feel so honored and excited,” he said. “And so, so grateful for this proclamation, I still can’t believe I have my own special day with my name on it.”