|▲ © Thomas Bach and Dr Choue at Taekwondowon 2017 World Taekwondo Championships Awards (WTU)
By Pau Aguilar of Spain
The President of the Intenational Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, congratulated World Taekwondo (former WTF) for evolving from a “national” to a “global” sport and becoming “a great player within the IOC stage”. The IOC President also confirmed Taekwondo will be on the IOC Executive Board’s proposed list of core sports for the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be voted in Lima, Peru, next September, “in recognition for the progress made”.
Bach stated these comments during his visit to the World Taekwondo Championships, which will conclude this evening in Muju, South Korea. The IOC President commented that “183 countries plus one refugee team and 16 countries having won a medal in the event so far confirms Taekwondo’s opening to the world”, he stated.
The IOC President said some of the Olympic movement values such as the responsability of all sports with society, humanitarian acts and anti doping policies are “under attack” nowadays because of the growing schepticism, but enphasized that World Taekwondo is doing a fantastic job to follow these Olympic principles. Mr Bach expressed his “compliments” to Dr Choue, President of World Taekwondo, for being the first Federation within the Olympic movement to have a refugee athlete in its world championships.
The IOC President also congratulated World Taekwondo on inviting two orphan kids from Nepal at the event, and appreciated having had the opportunity to have dinner with them last night. “This is what the sport is about. Competition, of course, but also responsibility with society”.
Mr Bach said World Taekwondo is a “great example” for implementing this initiaves and also for the activites Dr Choue and his team are doing at refugee camps. The WT President said the upcoming plan on this matter is to expand these activities to Africa, in countries such as Djibouti.
Regarding the possibility of a cooperation between South and North Korea in the Olympic Games, something expressed by Korea’s President Mr Moon last Saturday in Muju, Bach said he will have a meeting next Monday with the Republic’s President to discuss that.
The IOC President also mentioned that the implementation of the PSS and electronic head gear and the change of rules have made Taekwondo a “transparent” and “more interesting” sport.
During the press conference at T1 Arena of Taekwondowon, Dr Choue confirmed as well that the WT demonstration team will perform for the first time in Pyongyang this fall on occasion of the ITF World Championships.
The WT Demo Team will perform during the opening ceremony of the event. “The WTF team will travel to Pyongyang from Sept. 16 to 19″, commented Choue.
The WTF team will take the stage in the opening ceremony and will likely have another performance in Pyongyang before returning home. Dr Choue also mentioned that doors are open for ITF athletes to participate in all WT events, such as the Grand Slam, the qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the World Beach Poomsae Championships. He hopes to sign an agreement with the ITF regarding this and following the protocol of accord established in Nanjing in 2014 during the WT visit to North Korea next September.
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