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During the previous week on April 11, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Taekwondo (WT), the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hosted a spectacular taekwondo demonstration event in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of taekwondo’s Olympic inclusion.

The event was realized at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in recognition of the positive contribution of taekwondo to the Olympic Movement, as humanitarian and peace-building initiatives over the past 25 years. Taekwondo has appeared at every Olympic Games since the 103rd IOC Congress in Paris voted to include taekwondo in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach, ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, ASOIF President Mr. Franceso Ricci Bitti, IOC Executive Board Member and President of UWW Mr. Nenad Lalovic, President of International Handball Federation Mr. Hassan Moustafa and FISU President Mr. Oleg Matytsin joined WT President Chungwon Choue and ITF President Ri Yong Son to celebrate the event. Officials from WT, ITF and Taekwondo Europe also attended the celebrations, among them WTE Secretary-Genaral Michael Fysentzidis.

A total of 28 delegates from WT and 23 delegates from the ITF performed a joint-demonstration which showcased acrobatic kicking skills, self-defence, graceful Poomsae and board breaking during the celebrations. Together, the two teams demonstrated the full range of taekwondo.

“Today’s event was an important milestone in taekwondo’s history. It is an honour to have been included on the Olympic Games programme for the last 25 years. During that time, we have seen taekwondo grow significantly thanks to the global exposure the Games has provided.”

“We have innovated the sport, made it more exciting for athletes and fans and ensured that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, by anyone regardless of age, gender or ability.” said WT President Choue.

“We in turn will continue to promote the Olympic values around the world. We are committed to fulfilling our social responsibility and making a major contribution to social development and humanitarian causes. Working with the ITF, we are aiming for ‘One World, One Taekwondo’.

ITF President Ri Yong Son added: “This day also marks the 64th anniversary of birth of Taekwondo-Do. The joint demonstration at this day will be marked in the history.”

“With the profound philosophy and characteristic spirit of Taekwon-Do, ITF has devoted itself to building up civilized human society and will continue its cause in conformity with the goal and purpose of Olympics to encourage and contribute to the construction of peaceful human society, which ensures the dignity of human.“

IOC President Bach said, “Ever since Taekwondo became an Olympic sport, WT transformed a Korean martial art into one of the popular sports in the world, and WT also has developed the men’s sport into the sport with gender equality.” Then he added “WT opened a pathway to sport participation of the refugees and it provided motivation to the creation of the Olympic Refugee teams and establishment of Olympic Refuge Foundation.” He concluded “I wish to thank Taekwondo for demonstrating a power of sport in contributing to peace. I hope these two organizations will continue collaboration as committed in Nanjing, China in 2014 where I witnessed.”

All delegates were impressed by the energetic, yet touching joint taekwondo demonstration the two federations showcased at the Olympic Museum. The performance fused gravity-defying kicks and breath-taking board-breaks with a strong message of peace through sport.

As a special event, WT Council Members Prof. Kuk Hyun Jung and Mr. Metin Sahin had a re-match after 34 years. These two competed at the final of the WT World Championships in 1985.

During the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, WT and ITF signed a Protocol of Accord under the guidance of the IOC and in the presence of IOC President Bach. This Protocol of Accord has led to the two federations jointly organising taekwondo events in Russia, South Korea and North Korea. The latest agreement between WT and ITF was signed on 2 November 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea to enhance the cooperation of two taekwondo international federations.

The two federations also hosted the third and final joint-demonstration of this week-long celebration of Olympic inclusion on April 12 at the UN offices in Geneva.


Source: World Taekwondo


(Photo: WTE Secretary-General Michael Fysentzidis with IOC President Thomas Bach)



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