Go to contents

Olympic Taekwondo Gold Medallist Mun Campaigns against Corruption

Olympic Taekwondo Gold Medallist Mun Campaigns against Corruption

Posted September. 12, 2007 07:09,   


A 6-foot tall man was demonstrating various Taekwondo kicks on Monday in front of dozens of students at the Dong-A University gym. Each move appeared full of power. It was Mun Dae-seong, 31, who won a gold medal in the last Olympics.

Right after becoming a gold medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Taekwondo specialist retired. In June, he announced his comeback. Mun teaches students during the morning, and spends the entire afternoon practicing. He looked thinner from enteritis, but was smiling all the time just as before.

He recently advanced to the quarterfinals in the national Taekwondo championships and successfully finished the first stage of the national qualification series for the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Most experts said he was as good as before.

“It’s been a while. I got a little bit of the jitters, and felt my shoulders and legs stiffen. When the match started, things calmed down. Taekwondo must be my calling.”

He has to overcome one more set of qualification rounds in November. If he wins one of the top three spots, then he will represent South Korea in the Beijing Olympics.

He asked, “Please don’t think about the Athens gold medal any longer.” His comeback, Mun confessed, was not to win another medal, but to arouse the public interest in the martial art.

Mun felt sorry about the recent bribery scandal between referees and coaches. Some coaches got caught showering referees with expensive gifts prior to the championships.

Mun has rolled up his sleeves to root out corruptive practices. “Nobody deserves biased or prearranged refereeing. We have to permanently disqualify everyone involved in current and future bribery or unfair practices,” Mun advocated passionately.

The first thing he does is to pick up English books these days. He plans to venture out abroad to learn more about advanced administration of physical education.

“I think I should do a lot more. I want to promote Taekwondo around the globe and to become an IOC member. I have a long way to go, right?”