WTF President Chungwon Choue’s New Year Message for 2017
Dear World Taekwondo Family:
We begin the New Year with a great deal of excitement and optimism. Thanks to the work of all of you, last year was not just another great year for taekwondo it was possibly our best ever.
The highlight was obviously the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In keeping with Rio’s carnival spirit, we promised a “Festival of Fight” and we delivered. We also made history as Jordan won its first ever Olympic medal, Côte d’Ivoire won his country’s first ever Olympic gold medal and Iran won its first-ever female Olympic medal.
2017 is time for a new mission. After the huge success of Rio 2016 now is the time to build on this momentum– we cannot be complacent. We are always looking to evolve and improve our sport and together we must continue to push forward and realize the immense potential of taekwondo.
We must ensure that the best fighters and the best techniques come to the fore. Taekwondo is a fast, exciting and dynamic sport and we want to make it a sport that always “dazzles and excites.” The first step has already been taken. We have made significant adjustments to WTF competition rules which is applied from 2017 and will ensure more free-flowing and spectacular matches.
We will see this on display during the 2017 WTF World Taekwondo Championships, which will take place in Muju, Korea. The 2015 World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia were our best ever and I have no doubt Muju will build on their success. We expect athletes from more than 200 countries will take part demonstrating the truly global strength of the sport.
But WTF is about more than sport. We take our social responsibility very seriously and are committed to harnessing the power of taekwondo for good. Our charity initiative, the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, or THF, and our World Taekwondo Cares Program (WTCP) have been busy. The THF Taekwondo Academy in Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, is now teaching more than 60 Syrian refugee children. Our work was even recognized by Peace and Sport as we were honored with Federation of the Year. Thanks to a generous donation from China’s Huamin Charity Foundation, we will build a Taekwondo Academy in the Refugee camp this year.
2016 was a tremendous year. Everything we achieved by working together. But in 2017 there is even more we can accomplish. It is an honor to work with you all and I wish good luck and success to all in 2017.
Yours in taekwondo –
President, World Taekwondo Federation and Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation