Toll Free
1-800-669-8892 or 1-603-569-7988

Taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Aug 8-24

by B. Langley, August 5, 2008
Beijing 2008

Taekwondo made its debut as an official full-medal sport in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where 103 athletes from 51 countries participated.  In 2004 the competition was held in Athens, Greece. Prior to that, Taekwondo was featured as a demonstration sport on the Olympic programs of the 1988 Seoul, Korea and 1992 Barcelona, Spain games. 

Richard Chun


“The United States team has a good chance to win,” said Grand Master Richard Chun, a 9th Dan and one of the highest ranked masters of Taekwondo in the world.  “The World Taekwondo Federation must supervise well all international referees and judges to make fair judgments during the competitions.  This is very crucial.” 

Chun went on to say that contestants must show some interesting and exciting jumping, flying, and spinning kicks to obtain points.  These points should come from good techniques, which the audience can also appreciate.

According to Chun’s book, “Advancing in Taekwondo,” it was through the leadership of Dr. Un Yong Kim and his tireless efforts through the World Taekwondo Federation that Taekwondo has become an Olympian sport.  Under the present direction of Dr. Chung Won Choue, the federation continues to support the Olympics.  He is also the author of “Taekwondo—The Korean Martial Art,” and other books. 

Doug Cook

“Over the past 50 years, Taekwondo has transferred into an Olympic gold medal sport,” said Doug Cook, fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo, author of “several Taekwondo books, and contributing columnist for “Taekwondo Times” magazine.
“The Olympics have raised the consciousness and cultural awareness of the Korean people.  This honor has united the hearts and minds of the Korean people and catapulted their national martial art to world prominence. Worldwide, Koreans are respected as gold medal winners,” said Cook.

Competition

Taekwondo competition will be held Aug. 20 – 23. NBC Universal will present more than 3,600 hours of coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Games will begin August 8, 2008, with around-the-clock coverage and, for the first-time in the U.S., live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage on http://www.nbcolympics.com

U.S. Taekwondo team

Hailing from Sugarland, Texas, siblings Jean, Steven, Mark, and Diana Lopez, are dubbed the “first family” of Taekwondo.  Steven, Mark and Diana will be competing under the guidance of their older brother Jean Lopez who will be serving as the head coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Taekwondo team, a role he also served at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.  They aim to be the first set of three siblings to compete on the same Olympic team in the same sport since 1904.

Steven Lopez Steven Lopez

Arguably the most successful international fighter ever, Steven has won two Olympic gold medals and four straight world championships.  He fights in the Olympic welterweight division
Steven Lopez the two-time defending Olympic welterweight champion has also won the last four world titles. He is the most recognizable athlete in the family and in the sport of Taekwondo. He was the first person to win an Olympic gold medal and is now a consecutive Olympic gold medalist in 2004.

Diana Lopez Diana Lopez
Lopez nearly qualified to compete in Athens, losing to eventual silver medalist Nia Abdallah in a fight off at U.S. Olympic trials. She beat Abdallah in 2008 and represents the U.S. in the featherweight division.
Mark Lopez Mark Lopez

The youngest of the Lopez brothers, Mark started Taekwondo at the age 5. The 2005 world champion competes in the Olympic featherweight division.

Mark Lopez Charlotte Craig

Rounding out the U.S. team is 17-year-old Charlotte Craig from Murrieta, Calif. She has trained under Jimmy Kim, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist (Taekwondo was a demonstration sport in Seoul in 1988.) The 17-year-old Craig joins the Lopez family as the fourth member of the American Taekwondo contingent. In 2007, she won bronze at world championships. 

Some of the competition for the U.S. Team will be Chen Shih Hsin, Taipei, Yossef Karami, Iran, and Zhong Chen, China.

Competition Format

Traditionally, Taekwondo competitions consist of 16 weight classes, eight for men and eight for women. In the Olympics, there are only eight classes -- four for each gender -- because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) limits the total number of Taekwondo entrants to 128.

The Olympic Taekwondo tournament for each weight class follows an elimination format, with a random draw determining the main bracket. There will be roughly 15 entrants per weight class, with byes used to fill out the bracket as needed. After each match in the main bracket, the loser is eliminated from gold-medal contention, while the winner advances. The last two undefeated athletes meet to determine the gold and silver medalists.

Beginning with the 2008 Games in Beijing, the number of bronze medals awarded will be expanded from one to two. Since the 2000 Sydney Games, the World Taekwondo Federation has conducted a single elimination tournament system with double repechage to determine one third-place winner.

Contests are scored by awarding a point for each legitimate blow and deducting a point for each penalty. Five to seven points with one deduction is typical.

Medals

Medals

Noble and elegant, the medals are a blending of traditional Chinese culture and the Olympic spirit.  Approved by the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), they are designed with inspiration from "bi", China's ancient jade piece inscribed with dragon pattern. The medals, made of gold and jade, symbolize nobility and virtue and are embodiment of traditional Chinese values of ethics and honor with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centerpiece. On their reverse side, the medals adopt the standard design prescribed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - a drawing that represents the winged goddess of victory Nike and Panathinaikos Arena.

Medal distribution

The sport has increased in popularity with South Korea athletes receiving the most medals overall. 

Taekwondo Medals since 2000 (all countries)

  Gold Silver Bronze Total

South Korea KOR

5

1

2

8

Chinese Taipei TPE

2

1

2

5

China CHN

3

0

0

3

United States USA

2

1

0

3

Cuba CUB

1

2

0

3

Greece GRE

1

2

0

3

Iran IRI

1

0

2

3

France FRA

0

1

2

3

Mexico MEX

0

1

2

3

Australia AUS

1

1

0

2

Turkey TUR

0

1

1

2

Germany GER

0

1

0

1

Norway NOR

0

1

0

1

Russia RUS

0

1

0

1

Spain ESP

0

1

0

1

Vietnam VIE

0

1

0

1

Canada CAN

0

0

1

1

Egypt EGY

0

0

1

1

Japan JPN

0

0

1

1

Thailand THA

0

0

1

1

Venezuela VEN

0

0

1

1

Total

16

16

16

     48

A little history of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art, which means "the way of kicking and striking." In Taekwondo, the hands and feet are used to overcome an opponent, but the trademark of the sport is its combination of kick movements. Its origins are not well known but three possibilities are often described. One traces Taekwondo to Korea's three-kingdom era (B.C. 500) when Silla Dynasty warriors, the Hwarang, began to develop a martial art, tae kyon ("foot-hand"). Others feel that Taekwondo began as a form of Chinese boxing, which was established at the Shaolin Temple in B.C. 520. A third possibility is that Taekwondo developed from Japanese or Okinawa karate. It is now felt that Taekwondo probably developed from other Asian martial arts combined with traditional Korean techniques of kickboxing.

Various Korean forms of martial arts have existed but in the early 20th century, Taekwondo became the dominant form. In 1955, a group of Korean martial arts leaders chose Taekwondo as the definitive Korean martial art in an attempt to promote its development internationally. In 1973, the Korean government recognized the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as the legitimate governing body of the sport, and the first World Championships were held that year.



COMMENTS

Interesting website, i have bookmarked your site for future referrence :)
teksty z linkiem – June 4, 2009, 3:48 am
Cool site, i will come back here, regards
sklep wedkarski – June 21, 2009, 5:58 pm
thanks for this tips
zicolosEo – February 24, 2011, 3:23 am



©2017 YMAA | About YMAA | Privacy Policy |Terms of Use | Permissions | Contact Us