SEOUL, Korea (Jan. 31, 2024) - International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons was today awarded an honorary 9th dan Taekwondo black belt certificate by World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue at the federation’s headquarters in Seoul.
The prestigious award was presented to President Parsons in recognition of his support in the development of Para Taekwondo. In attendance at the ceremony were Mrs. Marcela Parsons, Mr. Lee Kyuseok, Vice President of World Taekwondo, Mr. Jung Kook-hyun and Mr. Jin-bang Yang, World Taekwondo Council Members, Mr. Jeongkang Seo, World Taekwondo Secretary General, as well as members of the Korean Paralympic Committee.
President Parsons attended multiple Para Taekwondo events last year, including the Manchester 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix Final and Paris 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix where he discussed the future development of the sport and the exciting preparations for this year’s Paralympic Games Paris 2024.
World Taekwondo President Choue said:
"We welcome President Andrew Parsons to the World Taekwondo headquarters for the first time. Through close cooperation between the World Taekwondo and IPC over the past years, Taekwondo was able to make a successful debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. We are very happy to present President Parsons with this honorary black belt.”
Speaking at the ceremony, President Parsons, who visited the World Taekwondo headquarters while in Korea for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, said:
“It Is such an honour to receive this honorary 9th dan black belt; I know how important it is for the Taekwondo community. One thing that really touched me was that you mentioned this is not given to people who excelled in taekwondo activities. But people who have Taekwondo in their heart, or they live through the Taekwondo values. And I believe in the Taekwondo values.
“World Taekwondo is an International Federation that does a lot of incredible humanitarian work. You are not just an incredible sport as I have seen in Manchester and Paris at the Grand Prix. You are also a sport which includes people and spreads good around the world.”
Para Taekwondo first featured at the Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020 and its successful debut saw the IPC increase the sport’s medal events at the Games from 6 to 10 with an athlete quota increase from 72 to 120. In January last year, the IPC also confirmed Para Taekwondo’s place at LA28 marking the third success Games the sport will feature in.
President Parsons joins the following individuals to have received this prestigious honour in the past: His Holiness Pope Francis, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, IOC Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jacques Rogge, and Thomas Bach, and former IPC President Sir Philip Craven.