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Taekwondo Olympic Champion to Run for IOC Athletes Commission

Taekwondo Olympic Champion to Run for IOC Athletes Commission

Posted January. 25, 2008 08:15,   


“I will give up my chance to win again for a bigger dream,” said Moon Dae-sung, 32, a former Taekwondo player and professor of Donga University.

Moon, who won the gold medal at the men’s 80kg in the 2004 Athens Olympics with his splendid back circular kick, declared that he would not participate in the Beijing Olympics.

He said in the telephone interview on Thursday, “Winning the gold medal is important, but becoming an IOC Athletes’ Commission member will be more helpful to Korea.”

If Moon becomes an IOC Athletes’ Commission member, he will be the first Asian member. Lee Eun-kyung (Archery), Jeon Yi-kyung (Short track skating), and Kang Gwang-bae (Bobsleigh) failed to join IOC in 2000, 2002 and 2006 respectively.

After the Athens Olympics, he decided to play again last year to win his second title in the Beijing Olympics with a hope of making the sport popular. However, when he became a candidate of the IOC Athletes’ Commission in December 2007, he gave up his dream of winning the title.

Moon began his preparation to become an IOC Athletes’ Commission member since the end of last year. He went to Auckland, New Zealand to learn English, and he is studying seven hours a day with a tutor nowadays. He learns English to communicate with important foreign sport figures and foreign athletes.

“It is never easy to learn English when you are old. But it is a challenge that I have to overcome to become an IOC Athletes’ Commission member to raise the competitiveness of South Korea’s sport in the world.”

He will continue learning English in New Zealand until May, and he will move to Beijing by the end of June to win votes of 12,000 players who will stay in the Olympic Athletes’ Village. A player can cast four votes. That explains why he has to gain an equal support from players from various countries. The outcome will be announced on Aug. 24, the last day of Olympics.

Moon has to outperform 31 candidates including Liu Xiang of China, a star player of 110-meter hurdles, Paul Tergat of Kenya, a marathoner who broke the record of two hours five minutes, Justine Henin of Belgium, the female tennis champion, and Grant Hackett of Australia, a long distance swimming champion.

The term of an IOC Athletes’ Commission member is eight years. There are 19 members in total and Moon wants to become one of the 12 elected members, which include eight from summer games and four from winter games. IOC President Jacques Rogge names members in the remaining seven slots based on regions and games. The term of four members including Sergei Bubka of Ukraine expires this year.

“When I become an IOC Athletes’ Commission member, I will do my best for Korea to win the Olympic bid,” Moon said enthusiastically.