Soo-Nam Park, new President of the DTU
The ex-Vice-President of the WTF Soo-Nam Park has been elected as the new president of the German Taekwondo Union (DTU).
Three candidates presented themselves at the elections of the DTU which took place on October 20th: the current president Heinz Gruber, Udo Wilke and Soon-Nam Park.
Park defeated Gruber with 33 votes against 17, whereas Wilke obtained 3 from the 53 total valid votes.
Park started his relationship with the DTU back in 1975 when he was appointed as the new national team coach. He remained as the leader of German Taekwondo for 10 years, until 1985, creating the myth of consecutive victories in European Championships. The German government acknowledged Park’s contribution awarding him with the Iron Cross.
Since then, Park focused more on international activities rather than staying only in Germany, holding several positions abroad: President of the British Taekwondo Control Board, Vice-President of the European Taekwondo Union, Vice-President of the World Taekwondo Federation, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committe for Electronic Protectors and Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee for the further Development of Poomsae. He was also a candidate for WTF Presidency in the elections of 2009, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, but withdrew right before the elections took place.
In 2008 he started collaborating as a chair-professor at the University of Young San in Korea and as a result many of his students have become coaches of several national teams or have continued their academic career as master and PhD students in prestigious German sport universities.
Now the question is, why did Park come back for the DTU Presidency?
“To restore German Taekwondo’s glory”.
This was Park’s answer to one of WTM’s questions when he was interviewed once the elections were over.
“Germany was one of the first European countries where Taekwondo started to spread and has been leading Taekwondo’s growth within Europe since then. Unfortunately, today’s German Taekwondo is undergoing a serious slump. So far I have been working hard abroad for the development of Taekwondo, but from now on I will put all my efforts for the resurrection of Taekwondo in Germany. Moreover, I will do everything I can for Taekwondo to remain as an Olympic core sport.”
He declared he would focus on such resurrection starting with the WTF promoted competitions which are left this year.
Park will be working as DTU President for four years together with the newly appointed Vice Presidents: Gerd Kohlhofer (Financial Division), Musa Cicek (Competition Division), Manuel Kolb (Technical Division) and Michael Bußmann.