Saturday, 11 August 2012

Homework Post 17: Olympic Opinions

Tae Kwon Do first appeared at the Olympics in Seoul, Korea during the 1988 Summer Games as a demonstration sport. Once more it made an appearance as a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It was made an official Olympic sport in the year 2000 at the games in Sydney Australia, and has been at the games ever since. I don’t think Tae Kwon Do should be included in the Olympics as it fails to convey the true spirit of the sport.

There are two main Tae Kwon Do organisations around the world; the World Tae Kwon Do Federation, and the International Tae Kwon Do Federation. At the Olympics, the World Tae Kwon Do version of the sport is played. This version makes a mockery of what Tae Kwon Do actually is, displaying an undisciplined and reckless competition between athletes. An example of this is the way the athletes compose themselves throughout the sparring matches. Their constant screams, celebrations of scored points, and attitude towards the referees not only shows their lack of sportsmanship, but their lack of understanding for the art side of the martial art.

This sport has come under fire by the IOC, having been threatened to be removed from the Olympic Summer Games. The action came about after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when one of the athletes after having been disqualified from his match, earned a lifetime ban for firing a kick at the head of the man refereeing his match. I think this assault should have sealed the fate of Tae Kwon Do at the Olympics, hopefully saving many martial artists from the disgrace it puts upon them every four years the games come about. As it has not yet been removed, I think the IOC should push for it to be taken off the list of 28 games to be played in Rio, 2016. Not only would this removal stop Tae Kwon Do from being ridiculed by the public every four years due to the reputation it has managed to gain, but it'd also save me from having to explain that I don't do that Tae Kwon Do. I do ITF Tae Kwon Do, the more respectable version of the sport.

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