IOC Vice President, Yu Zaiqing of China, heralded the World Taekwondo Federation’s Referee and Coach Joint Training Camp for the London 2012 Olympic Games as a “novel and significant initiative to ensure the fairness of the Olympic taekwondo competitions.”
The camp, which is running from June 8-12, has brought together coaches, referees, and WTF Council members from across taekwondo’s 202 member national associations. The primary goal is to focus the global taekwondo community on delivering a successful Olympic competition, celebrating fair play, sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit.
The camp has provided a forum for all the delegates to share their hopes and aspirations for London 2012. In his address to the delegates, Mr. Yu began by underlining what a critical time the period from now until the end of the Games is for the WTF. He went on to say:
“I’m very pleased to see that the reform of the World Taekwondo Federation has achieved great success in the past years, especially in the aspect of fair adjudication. Organizing the Referee and Coach Joint Training Camp before the Olympic Games is a novel and significant initiative to ensure the fairness of the Olympic taekwondo competitions. The London Olympics will serve as a perfect platform for the sport of taekwondo to showcase its beauty and philosophy.”
Mr. Yu concluded his address by wishing the taekwondo family great success for the future, and urged the gathered stakeholders to safeguard “the purity and integrity of the sport”.
Ivan Dibos, IOC member and WTF Vice President, also addressed the meeting. He said:
“Our sport is clean and fair to the highest level. Your behavior in London will count a lot. You will be the main carrier of our image. The main task for people involved in the management of the sport – like NOCs, IFs, IOC members – is the welfare of the athletes. Referees and coaches: please always remember that the athletes are the reason for us to be here.”
President of the WTF, Dr. Chungwon Choue, said:
“We are one family and we approach the future of our sport together. We must display only the best of our sport to the world in London. Olympic spirit and sportsmanship are expected from each of us. This must be our first duty, always. We have done our best to make great changes in our sport and our organization. We have increased transparency and fair play in our competitions, but we have to continue to do even better.”
Dr. Choue asked the referees to “stand for fair play” and reminded them that they are the “gatekeepers” of the athletes’ Olympic dreams. He reiterated to the coaches their responsibility to be role models for their athletes:
“Teach them the Olympic values, and then show them how to live them. It doesn’t matter if the color of the medal is gold, silver or bronze. The Olympic dream is bigger than that. Every athlete is a member of our taekwondo family. We must celebrate each of them, whether they win or lose.”
WTF Council Members, national team coaches, and Olympic referees from each of the five Olympic continents each defined their expectations and objectives for London 2012 as key stakeholders. They also called upon each other to do their utmost to display the Olympic values and spirit. The WTF’s leadership is confident that every delegate will leave the meeting optimistic and focused for the London 2012 taekwondo competition, which kicks off at the ExCeL Arena on Aug. 8.