EARLY YEARS: Patrick County 10-year-old karate champ featured on soda label, after training video goes viral

Gavin Dollarhite from Patrick Springs says he hopes his fame inspires other kids to try martial arts
Practicing his martial arts skills in his back yard has made Gavin Dollarhite a YouTube star
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:07 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - 10-year-old karate student Gavin Dollarhite of Patrick County is now a YouTube sensation.

“It’s awesome. I never expected this would happen from that one video,” he says.

When most karate tournaments were canceled during COVID lockdowns, Gavin took to his back yard to work on his skills.

“I was out there for about 20 minutes recording that video. I did not expect it to go as viral as it did,” says Gavin.

But go viral it did, in just a matter of days.

“It was like 10,000 views a day, 50,000 views a day, 100,000, then one day I had three million views in one day,” says Gavin.

At last check, the video has over 12 million views.

It also caught the eye of the Jones Soda Company.

“They reached out to me in September of last year, wanting to know if I wanted to try to go into that. See if I could make it onto a label, and surprisingly I did,” says Gavin.

Jones Soda is known for its creativity, like its augmented reality label featuring Gavin. You’ll find them on grocery store shelves in our hometowns.

“I have six of them right now. One of them is right here,” says Gavin.

And as any 10-year-old would be, Gavin is drinking it all in.

He says his friends are excited for him.

“I can’t tell if they’re joking or being serious, they’re like I want to get your autograph before you’re famous one day,” says Gavin.

All attention aside, Gavin says he hopes his label will accomplish one important thing.

“I just want everyone at some point in their life to try karate or at least look at it, because it really is a big help and motivation and respect,” says Gavin.

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