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Egyptian Taekwondo Hero, Amr Khairy

Dr. Amr Khairy, considered the Egyptian Taekwondo Hero, received an appreciation plaque from WTF President Chungwon Choue on April 4th at the opening ceremony of the 2012 WTF World Junior TKD Championships in Sharm El Sheihk.  

Dr. Khairy has a brilliant record as a taekwondo athlete. He won a silver and bronze medal at Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 respectively, and several gold medals at the 1989 World TKD Championships, 1986 Taekwondo World Cup, and 1986 World University Championship and so on.   

After retiring as an athlete in 1992, he started working as the coach of the Egyptian National Team, therefore being responsible for today’s Egyptian taekwondo. 

However, Dr. Khairy did not get the appreciation plaque only because of his brilliant career as an athlete.

On April 4th he appeared in a wheelchair due to the multiple sclerosis that hit him 12 years ago. 

Dr. Khairy was a healthy athlete who was always full of confidence through taekwondo, but 12 years ago he started suffering some problems in his left leg. At the hospital, the doctors suspected it was Multiple Sclerosi and recommended him to travel to Japan or the U.S. in order to have more detailed tests done. The reason why they could not be sure of his condition is that MS normally occurs in cold regions.  

Although he visited a hospital in the U.S., there was hardly any difference, and this can be attributed to MS being an incurable disease. It debilitates the cells, making it very difficult for the affected people to move normally.  

Did the once healthy athlete Dr. Khairy feel frustrated due to his disease? 

“I didn’t feel like that at all but took it as a test from God. I believed that us weak humans have to accept and endure whatever test God gives us. Isn’t it a relief that I recieved this test, and not my son? I would have been devastated if my son had suffered from MS. But I received this test from God, and therefore I didn’t feel sad. I am happy.” 

Dr. Khairy seemed truly happy. He loved taekwondo more than anybody else, and is living a life full of it.

His current work is also related to the martial art. He is neither an athlete nor a coach but owns a taekwondo equipment business, and is the official distributor of Daedo (famous for its electronic protector) in Egypt,

His elder and younger son, and even his daughter are currently taekwondo athletes. His elder son did not make it to participate in London 2012 as champion in the African continent, but is already setting objectives for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. His younger son participated in this edition of the World Junior Championships with the Egyptian National Team, and his daughter is also active in the martial art. They are practically a ‘taekwondo family’.  

Like he expressed, Dr. Khairy seemed to be happy. And the reason seemed to be his love and passion for taekwondo, and the fact that he is living a life full of it.

<Jean S. Park=WTM>

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