Letter from ETU President on WTF’s decision on Allowing Refugee Athletes to Compete at Rio 2016




Date: 22 December 2015

Dear ETU Taekwondo Family Members and Friends,

As ETU president, it is with great pride that the WTF took a great initiative to enable refugee athletes to participate in the Olympic Games and Qualification Tournaments in line with the IOC Initiative.

As you are aware, the world and Europe in particular, is in the midst of a refugee crisis. IOC President Thomas Bach has urged all sport federations represented in the Olympic movement to offer refugee athletes, many of whom do not have official nationalities, the chance to compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

This decision perfectly matches with the current movement of the WTF in empowering refugees and displaced persons to eventually give them hopes and dreams. In this respect, the ETU warmly welcomes refugee athletes to participate in the upcoming European Qualification Tournament under the flag of the WTF.

At a time of year when Europeans celebrate goodwill towards all men, I am pleased and proud that the ETU has taken this noteworthy, humanitarian and historic step. I know I can count on all ETU athletes, coaches and officials to warmly support the refugee athletes among us as we embark on the road to Rio.

With best regards and season’s greetings.

Sakis Pragalos,
ETU President