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"2012 was a great year for PATU"

"2012 was a great year for PATU"

Interview with Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU) President Mr. Ji-Ho Choi
Q. 2012 has been a really important year for all sports, specially for Taekwondo, because of the London Olympics. Now that is almost over, what is your assessment on this year for Taekwondo in general?
A. 2012 indeed was a busy year for our sport. Until the London Olympic Games were completed, all of our works, efforts were focused onto a successful completion of the Olympic Games as it was in our top priority. Aside from the Olympic Program, we had many other businesses that needed to be completed with satisfying results. I am very proud of our Global Taekwondo family as we all worked together in unity to manage all pending businesses and make proper adjustments to make this year a successful one.
Q. How would you assess your organization’s performance during this year?
A. I am confident to say that 2012 was a great year for PATU. From the beginning of the year, PATU has completed all of our businesses and fulfilled our responsibilities as planned. We completed the London Olympic Games with a great results, organized the WTF World Cup Team competition in Aruba with a great success and finalized the year with WTF World Poomsae Championships in Tunja, Colombia with a unprecedented results. It was the first time in the WTF history that we filled the stadium with 30,000 spectators during the Opening Ceremonies. In addition to completing these successful WTF International Events, PATU also organized our 18th Pan Am Championships, the 2nd Pan Am Poomsae Championships, the 2nd Pan Am Para-Taekwondo Championships, and the Pan Am Open International Championships in Sucre, Bolivia with record breaking participation. We also held our bi-annual General Assembly and the Executive Committee and Council Election for the upcoming 2013~2017 term. I am sincerely grateful to all PATU MNA Presidents for allowing me with their trusting votes to lead PATU again for next term.
Aside from managing all events, PATU also held many technical seminars throughout the region with positive and progressive results. We will expand our seminars and educational programs in small countries in the New Year as a part of our ongoing efforts to develop our sport in all remote areas.
Q. As the PATU President, what are your main plans/goals for the PATU in 2013?
A. As I begin my 2013~2017 term, I would like to find and appoint highly qualified and capable leaders to manage different committees in PATU. As I begin my second term, I would like to improve and restructure many inactive committees to better serve our members. I would also like to construct PATU Women’s Committee to promote women’s participation in our sport and provide equal opportunities for women in the leadership roles. PATU will initialize athlete support programs for small countries so that more athletes will be able to experience the World Class events.
My goals for this year are;
1. To assure a successful organization of the WTF World Championships to be held in Puebla, Mexico.
2. To organize successful Pan Am Junior Championships, South American Championships, Caribbean Championships, 2013 Pan Am Open and the Central American Games to be held in Costa Rica.
3. To organize Gyoroogi and Poomsae seminars in small countries and to initialize PATU Gyoroogi Referee Certification Program. .
4. To visit and develop Caribbean Region.
Q. In February 2013, the IOC will meet to decide the core Olympic sports for the 2020 Games. Is your organization doing or planning to do anything in particular to help Taekwondo remain as a core sport?
A. I have been actively contacting all IOC members in the region to gain their support. Additionally, I have been actively participating in the PASO (Pan Am Sport Organization) functions and in the ACODEPA (Association of Pan Am Sport Confederations) as an elected Executive Board Member. All of PATU EXCO, Council and MNA Presidents are actively promoting our sport among NOCs and IOC Members to remain in the Olympic Program. We are constantly communicating with each other to update ourselves with the latest developments to better prepare ourselves in achieving our common goal.
Q. Do you have any special plans for the further development of the PATU?
A. Funding always has been our biggest challenges in accomplishing our new or special plans. We are in the process of seeking corporate sponsorships for PATU, and I hope to see some positive progress in very near future. I have been actively communicating with many agencies specializing in global corporate sponsorships in the U.S for the past 4 years. I am happy to announce that PATU will be submitting completed proposals for major corporate sponsorships in the beginning of 2013, and hope that we will have positive results by the end of the year.

Action during a combat at the 2011 Pan American Games, held in Guadalajara (México)

PATU President Mr Ji-Ho Choi’s New Year Message for 2013
Dear PATU Family and Friends,
On behalf of the PATU, I would like to wish you and your family happiness, health and prosperity in the New Year!
2013 will be without a doubt another busy year for all PATU family. Beginning with the Central American Games to be held in Costa Rica in March, we will have WTF World Championships in Puebla, Mexico, Pan Am Open in Queretaro, Mexico in September, Pan Am Junior & Cadet Championships in October and WTF World Poomsae Championships in November. But most importantly, IOC will decide the future of Taekwondo as a Core Olympic Sport
in this year. We must continue to work together to maintain the value and the integrity of our sport to the international sports communities.
I would like to urge you to continue your efforts to promote our sport to your NOCs and honorable IOC members in the Pan Am Region to seek their confidence in maintaining our sport in the Olympic Program beyond 2016.
Through your dedication and hard work, I am confident that our sport will gain a renewed recognition among the international sport leaders.
As we celebrate the New Year with our loved ones, we need to appreciate our surroundings as we are all blessed with health and happiness. There are many who are undergoing life challenges in these times of difficulties. It is a big part of our Taekwondo training to help and assist those who are in need of basic necessities. Let’s all work together to make our world a better place for all.
Thank you again for your continued support for the PATU leadership and I look forward to accomplish all WTF and PATU businesses together in the New Year!
Grand Master Ji Ho Choi
Pan American Taekwondo Union
Executive Council Member, WTF
Executive Board Member, ACODEPA
Pau Aguilar
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