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Tireless Passion for Taekwondo – President of ATU Dai-soon Lee

?? Dai-soon Lee, President of Asian Taekwondo Union and Honorary Chairman of Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.

To make taekwondo as a worldwide sport and martial art, numerous number of taekwondo people have done their utmost. Among them, Dr. Lee Dai-soon’s achievements and contribution have been striking. Perhaps, Dr. Lee regards taekwondo as his mission in life. His dedication for taekwondo with well rounded manner have won high praise home and abroad.

Dr. Lee Dai-soon, Honorary Chairman of Taekwondo Promotion Foundation (TPF), became associated with taekwondo in 1970s. In those days, he was a Director-General of Sports Bureau, Ministry of Education.

Dr. Lee at the Education Ministry actively supported the emigration of Korean taekwondo masters to overseas. He also laid the foundation for Korean Olympic Committee by  integrating scattered Korean sports organizations. Further,  he played a key role to unify different taekwondo organizations.

Dr. Lee majored law at Seoul National University (SNU) and public administration at graduate school of SNU. At the age of his 40s, he became the educational superintendent of Jeollanam-do Province followed by President of Honam  and Gyeonwon University, a member of National Assembly, and Minister of Communications. 

Currently, Dr. Lee holds two important positions in international taekwondo as the President of the Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU) and Deputy President of World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

Since 1999, as the President of ATU, he has persistently operated exchange programs between Korea and other developing Asian countries to upgrade international standard of taekwondo. Thanks to this exchange program, an Afghanistan taekwondo player greatly improved his skills and was able to get an Olympic bronze medal for the first time in his country’s sports history.

While working as the Chairman of TPF, Dr. Lee showed a great enthusiasm for successful construction of Taekwondo Park. Dr. Lee said "Construction of the Taekwondo Park will be a turning point to develop taekwondo, the Korean traditional martial art, into a global cultural brand." The mecca of taekwondo in which Dr. Lee’s dreams and ideals are fully imbued will be opened in 2013 in a clean and natural environment in Muju, Korea.

Greece, the birthplace of Olympic Games, has International Olympic Academy (IOA). On the other hand, Korea, the motherland of Taekwondo, will have World Taekwondo Academy (WTA) at the Taekwondo Park in 2013. Dr. Lee initiated the idea of WTA to lead people’s healthy and sound daily lives through learning both taekwondo and Olympic spirits.  

Dr. Lee’s ceaseless passion for taekwondo did not stop there. At TPF, he created a number of ambitious international projects such as International Taekwondo Symposium, World Youth Taekwondo Camp, World Taekwondo Culture EXPO etc. All these projects are to realize the vision of ‘making one world through taekwondo.’ 

In particular, the World Youth Taekwondo Camp became a pilot event to launch the 1st Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. IOC highly appreciated the Camp project because it was an unique event until that time to spread Olympic ideals and dreams among world youths. It was a priceless outcome of taekwondo originated from Dr. Lee’s outstanding outlook.  

?? Seung-ho Kim.

In November 2011, Dr. Lee retired from the President of TPF at the age of 79. However, his tireless passion for taekwondo is still continuing. As Honorary Chairman of TPF since January 2012, he is actively cooperating to realize the grand plan to develop taekwondo as a true global cultural brand, and to make the Taekwondo Park, the mecca of taekwondo, as the popular attraction for the people from all over the world.

By Seung-ho Kim(Planning and Managing Bureau Director of TPF)

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