Congratulating Jordan on winning its first ever Olympic medal and Iran on winning its first ever female Olympic medal, Chungwon Choue, President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) said: “On behalf of the whole taekwondo family I would like to congratulate Jordan on winning their first ever Olympic medal and Iran on winning their first female Olympic medal. We are delighted that these historic moments came in taekwondo but in some ways it does not come as a surprise. Taekwondo is a sport which is practiced in almost every country around the world and is accessible to people of all backgrounds, genders and ages. It provides opportunities for people with limited financial means to engage in sport and the breadth of countries that win medals in the sport demonstrates just how universal it is.”
Ahmad Abughaush of Jordan made history by winning gold in the men’s -68kg against Russia’s Alexey Denisenko to claim his country’s first Olympic medal. Shortly before, Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin had secured her own place in the record books by becoming the first female Olympic medalist from Iran with a victory over Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden to claim bronze. On the night, eight medals were split between seven countries further showcasing the strength of taekwondo around the world.
Earlier this year, Abughaush benefited from the WTF’s commitment to providing opportunities to as many athletes as possible as he attended the Booyoung Taekwondo Dream Progame in June. The program was launched by the WTF in partnership with its global partner, Booyoung, to offer intensive taekwondo training to three teams with limited financial means. The WTF has also been working closely with Jordan over the last 12 months having launched its Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) pilot project in the Zaatari and Al Azraq refugee camps. The THF aims to empower refugees and displaced persons through taekwondo; keeping them active and promoting the Olympic values.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.