A dream trip
Mill Creek students Beijing bound

HOSCHTON - Tyler Mineo said he dreamed of going to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

"I said I don't care if I'm going to compete or if I'm going to watch," the Mill Creek High School senior said. "I had a dream of just going."

Mineo's dream is coming true today, as he is flying to China with his friend, Glen Feller, and Feller's parents. During their weeklong stay, the group will see sights such as Tiananmen Square, but the main attraction will be the preliminary and final rounds of the tae kwon do competition.

Feller, a sophomore at Mill Creek, said his father works for a Chinese company that offered to get them tickets to the Olympics.

"At first it was just an idea," Feller said. "It built up to be what it is. It just exploded."

Rumors about the trip have been circulating throughout the Hoschton school's campus, Feller said. The teens have competed nationally in tae kwon do, but they aren't going to China to compete in the games this year. And, no, they won't be training with the team.

They will, however, be cheering on Steven Lopez, who will be fighting for another Olympic Gold medal.

"My main goal is to watch Steven in the finals," Feller said.

Mineo said he hopes to talk with some of the athletes. He's also looking forward to watching the sport in which he wants to compete in 2012.

Mineo said he enjoys tae kwon do because he likes "kicking people."

Feller added, "I don't want to say it's fun violence. It's technique. There's sport to it. ... It's all strategy."

"It's the feeling you get afterward," Mineo said. "It's the best feeling when you're training to beat a specific person."

Feller said he'd also like to compete in the Olympics, but perhaps in a different sport. He said he also enjoys track and field and cross-country running.

While the Buford residents may spend some time training in the next few years, they'll also be focusing on their academics. Feller and Mineo both are honors students and aspiring doctors.

But for this week, the two are going to live in the moment and enjoy what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Everything's falling in place the way I imagined," Mineo said. "I'm really, really happy."