BAKU, Azerbaijan (May 29, 2023) - A breathless Opening Ceremony this evening for the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships showcased the best of Taekwondo and Azeri culture to thousands of local fans and VIP guests.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev joined World Taekwondo President Choue, Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, IOC Vice President Ser Miang Ng, Minister of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan Farid Gayibov, and President of Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation Kamaladdin Heydarov in the audience to enjoy the show.
The Ceremony began with the traditional parade of the flags of the competing nations before the flags and anthems of World Taekwondo and Azerbaijan were unveiled.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, World Taekwondo President Choue said:
“It is my great pleasure to be back in Azerbaijan, the land of fire, for the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships!
“To all athletes, I wish you the very best over the next seven days. Let’s show the world the elegance and dynamism of Taekwondo. Enjoy every moment here in Baku, and bring with you the happiest memories and also remember that peace is more precious than triumph.
“And finally to the citizens of Azerbaijan, please show your passionate support to the athletes and officials everyday. Thank you for making the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships truly memorable and one of the best ever.”
A video about National Leader Heydar Aliyev and his contributions to Azerbaijani sports was played to mark the 100thanniversary and was followed by World Taekwondo’s 50th anniversary video.
Natiq Rhythm Group got the crowd onto their feet with a dramatic and powerful musical demonstration before local star Röya Ayxan performed a number of her hit songs.
The evening ended with the award winning World Taekwondo Demonstration Team delivering their trademark acrobatic and gravity-defying performance with a touch of local Azeri flavour.