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`I Want Taekwondo as a Permanent Olympic Event`

Posted December. 18, 2008 07:26,   


“Taekwondo has 188 member nations, making it a sport befitting the Olympic spirit.”

Former taekwondo Olympic gold medalist Moon Dae-sung told this to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at a meeting of the Athletes’ Commission in Lausanne, Switzerland, held Dec. 8-10.

Moon is the first Asian to be named to the commission, and is lobbying to have taekwondo made a permanent Olympic sport.

In a news conference at Seoul’s Olympic Parktel yesterday, Moon announced his plan to globalize taekwondo.

“I just began my first step as an IOC Athletes’ Commission member. I’ll strive to learn more. I want to help Korean sports to be loved by the world,” he said.

Moon won the Olympic gold in taekwondo’s heavyweight division in the 2004 Athens Games by knocking out Greece`s Alexandros Nikolaidis with a jump spinning hook kick.

The Korean plans to hold an international forum on taekwondo in August, and will visit underdeveloped nations once or twice a month to spread the martial art and lend a helping hand to them.

“The World Taekwondo Federation has changed its grading system and reduced the scale of the ring,” he said. “I think these changes are good. I will talk to officials from the World Taekwondo Federation, Korea Taekwondo Association and the Kukkiwon (federation headquarters) soon to develop taekwondo into a more dynamic sport.”

Moon said he will improve Korea’s sports diplomacy, nurture talented athletes, and boost the popularity of the Youth Olympics over his eight-year term as commission member.

At an inspection conducted by the National Assembly in October, rumors flew that he had the support of a government ministry in his election to the Athletes’ Commission.

To this, Moon said, “I broke no rules that members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission must follow. I was elected to the commission because I talked with athletes 15 hours per day during the Olympic Games.”