LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Nov 15, 2023) - The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) was today awarded the Olympic Cup by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in recognition of the Foundation’s work in empowering refugees around the world through Taekwondo.
IOC President Bach presented the Olympic Cup to THF Chairman and World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue during a special ceremony in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.
The Olympic Cup was established in 1906 by Pierre de Coubertin and is awarded annually by the IOC as the highest distinction for an organisation with a proven record of promoting the ideals of the Olympic Movement.
IOC President Bach said:
“With the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, we are awarding the Olympic Cup to an organisation that embodies the deeply humanitarian spirit of Olympic sport like few others.
“World Taekwondo through its Foundation shares our belief in sport as a force for good in the world. The Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation carries this power of sport to those who need it most: the refugees worldwide and in particular to children and youth, empowering and educating them through Taekwondo. Through your programmes and academies in refugee camps in Jordan, Rwanda, Eswatini, or Türkiye or in cities with large populations of displaced people like Paris or right here in Lausanne, you are brining hope through sport to one of the most vulnerable groups of society.
“From the refugee camps to the Olympic stage, the THF is demonstrating the Olympic spirit in action.”
Speaking during the ceremony, World Taekwondo President Choue said:
“Thank you for this amazing recognition of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, and of World Taekwondo. I am humbled to receive this Olympic Cup from my dear friend Thomas and in front of many, many wonderful friends of Taekwondo. This is what we can do when we collectively use sport for the greater good.
“This year, we celebrate our Golden Jubilee. There have been many highlights so far, and among the most important is the Hope and Dreams Sports Festival in Azraq, Jordan. Taekwondo is a sport of hopes and dreams. In a sport like Taekwondo, everyone is equal and because of that, everyone has an opportunity, whether to be an athlete, an official, or to be a fan. World Taekwondo welcomes everyone.
“In fact, I have the pleasure to inform you that in Azraq camp, we now have 100 refugees and displaced persons who are black belt holders. In seven years, we have fulfilled the hopes and dreams of thousands of refugees and displaced persons around the world. Our aim now is to support the aspirations of refugee athletes to become an Olympic medalist at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It is not easy but we will never give up. That’s why our motto for next year is, Aspiring Olympism and Peace.”
Next year, the THF will organise the second Hope and Dreams Sports Festival in Jordan at the end of April.
The presentation of the Olympic Cup was not the only highlight of the day, as a Taekwondo statue was unveiled outside the entrance of the Olympic Museum.