Watch the Moment This 72-Year-Old Veteran and Cancer Survivor Found Out He Earned His Black Belt


Wayne Cooper has seven children and nine grandchildren. He’s a Vietnam veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. He lives with diabetes and is now in remission after battling prostate cancer. Today, the 72-year-old can also call himself a black belt.

“Youth is wonderful. Why waste it on the young?” he says during an hour-long run in the ABC segment below. That physical assessment was one of several in his two-day taekwondo evaluation. He’s been training for four years at Han Lee’s Taekwondo Academy in Castle Rock, Colo.

“I was just amazed at his openness to try. At that age, something brand new, this is not mainstream stuff,” Grandmaster Han Lee told The Castle Rock News-Press. “That’s what I love about him, just his attitude… He’s been just a tremendous role model for all the students. Imagine the young kids that see him come and practice.”

Among friends, family and his (younger) classmates, Cooper proved that hard work pays off. Watch his reaction below when he finds out the black belt is his.


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