Taekwondo Peace Festival to be held at Seoul Plaza next Sunday
For fans of taekwondo, K-pop or both, the Taekwondo World Peace Festival will be held at Seoul Plaza, Sunday.
Under the theme of “One Taekwondo, One World,” the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and the Global Taekwondo Support Foundation for Peace and Unification (GTSF) will feature Rio Olympic taekwondo medalists and K-pop musicians at the inaugural event scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“Everyone who loves taekwondo is invited,” said WTF President Choue Chung-won.
“Over the past 50 years, taekwondo has evolved as a true sport for all, at the Olympics and outside the arena. The festival is for the sport’s successful past and its brighter future,” he said.
The WTF declared Sept. 4 as Taekwondo Day in 2006. The festival is part of the celebration of the day for all taekwondo fans and practitioners across the world.
“Representatives of all continental federations will come to the annual festival. I hope to see more of such events in other nations on the same day,” Choue said. “We are expecting about 300 visitors from different parts of the world.”
The festival will open with taekwondo demonstrations by teams from the WTF and universities in Korea.
The teams will display their trademark high-flying kicks and punches, along with music and dance performances.
Then, a video clip will be shown about the globalization of taekwondo over the past 50 years. The clip will show how taekwondo, the traditional Korean martial art, has grown into an exciting Olympic combat sport for all nations.
For those who are interested in learning more about the history, the Taekwondo History Wall will be displayed near the performance stage with pictures of symbolic moments in the sport and English explanations.
The declaration of taekwondo’s vision will be announced to conclude the first section of the festival. The WTF says the declaration will include messages about taekwondo’s role as a messenger of peace.
“The sport of 80 million people in 206 countries can, and should, play a bigger role for world peace,” Choue said. “The WTF acknowledges the positive impact taekwondo can have on more people, especially those who are living in conflict zones, and will do more work for this end.”
Starting at 7:30 p.m. after a 20-minute intermission, taekwondo demonstration teams will retake the stage for additional performances, followed by special interviews of Korean taekwondo medalists from the Rio Olympics, where they took two gold and three bronze medals.
After Korea’s worst finish in taekwondo at the previous Olympics, Kim So-hee and Oh Hye-ri won gold medals in Rio while Kim Tae-hoon, Lee Dae-hoon and Cha Dong-min won bronze medals. All five medalists will show up at the event to celebrate their achievement with fans. Participants also can get autographs of their favorite athletes there during an autograph session starting at 4 p.m.
K-pop singers, including I.O.I, Kim Tae-woo, UP10TION, f(x) member Luna, Laboum, Melody Day and Tae Jin-ah, will perform for the finale.
The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Unification, the National Unification Advisory Council, the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation and the Korea Petroleum Association.
Source: Korea Times (Jung Min-ho)