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

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December 22, 2015

Dear PATU Family and Friends,

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits this holiday season.

In light of the current world refugee crisis, WTF President, Dr. Chuongwon Choue is taking a frontline initiative to respond to IOC President Thomas Bach’s urgent request to extend an invitation to athletes currently holding refugee status to participate in the WTF Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments for Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

We, as a world sports organization, must act as the unifying force in a world undergoing unbearable turmoil. The world refugee crisis is a tragedy that affects all mankind. We must stand in solidarity with every athlete whose hope, purpose, and strength have been stripped away by their daily struggle for survival in refugee camps. We must hold ourselves to the higher standards of athleticism and sportsmanship and do our very best to help the fallen taekwondo athletes of the world to regain their hopes and dreams, so that they may rehabilitate their health, self-esteem, dignity, and integrity through the only way we know how; TAEKWONDO.

PATU nations are nations of compassion, and I have no doubt that each PATU member nation will go far and beyond the call of duty to welcome with open arms, the refugee athletes to participate in the Olympic Games and Qualification Tournaments in accordance with the IOC Initiative.

PATU will stand hand-in-hand to keep the Olympic flame burning to light the pathway to 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games safe and open for all athletes. We extend our PATU hospitality and invitation to WTF and its athletes under the WTF flag.

Keep and remember these refugee athletes in your hearts and prayers this holiday season.

Season’s Greetings.

Sincerely,

Grand Master Ji Ho Choi

President Pan American Taekwondo Union Executive Council Member, WTF

Executive Board Member, ACODEPA www.patu.org