One Year To Go Until Tokyo 2020ne!
Happy Taekwondo Day everyone!
It was on this day in 1994 that Taekwondo was awarded Olympic status – a defining moment in the history of the sport. The date is marked as a legal memorial day in the birthplace of the sport – South Korea.
It is also on this day - one year from today - Para Taekwondo will be handing out its final medals of the Tokyo 2020ne Paralympic Games.
Day Three of the competition that runs from 2-4 September, 2021 will showcase the power and stategy of Para Taekwondo’s heavyweight divisions, including two of the sport’s great fighters – Great Britain’s Amy Truesdale and USA’s Evan Medell.
No. 1-ranked Truesdale has kept busy over summer. The 2017 world champion had to adapt her regular training sessions to online trainings from home. “This is such a positive, as it gives us more time to prepare and enjoy our training even more”, she told World Taekwondo.
No. 1-ranked Medell has also had to adjust. He hit the gym for the first time on Wednesday since gyms closed in early March. “Training is going to be more regular than it has been”, he told WT, “although probably not completely normal – as a precaution.”
World Para Taekwondo featured many of their heavyweight competitors in this summer’s #KickingItAtHome social media campaign – one of many online initiatives launched by WT since the COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person competitions to a halt. You can learn about other online initiatives for practitioners, coaches, classifiers, and referees later in this newsletter.
Among the heavyweights featured in the #KickingItAtHome series was Japan’s Shoka Ota – a Winter Paralympic Games star biathlete that carried her country’s flag at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and won bronze at last year’s Para Taekwondo world championships.
Also featured were current and former world champions and No. 1-ranked fighters, like Asghar Aziziaghdam (Iran), Rajae Akermash (Morocco), Matt Bush (UK), as Ivan Mikulic (Croatia) and Debora Menezes (Brazil).
To learn more about these fighters – or any of the 84 fighters featured – be sure to check out the World Para Taekwondo page on Facebook.
The heavyweight medals will be some of the last awarded at the 2020ne Paralympic Games. The closing ceremony will be held on 5 September, one year after the final day of the International Paralympic Committee’s current #WaitForTheGreats campaign that was launched to celebrate one year to go until Tokyo 2020ne.
The IPC has marked the occasion in several ways, including the Netflix launch of the highly-anticipated ‘Rising Phoenix’ movie that tells the story of the Paralympic Games through the eyes of nine athletes, the release of the inspiring ‘Greatness Will Wait’ (For the audio-described version) TV ad that follows visually-impaired Paralympic champion David Brown as he sets a Paralympic Record at Rio 2016, and athlete-generated #WaitForTheGreats content, featuring none other than our own Amy Truesdale.
Truesdale will take over the IPC Instagram account today to mark Taekwondo Day as part of the “athlete takeover” initiative. You can follow along here.
So, while the world of taekwondo awaits the return of in-person competitions, there is still plenty going on – especially online. Keep reading to see how you can stay involved.
Stay safe and Happy Taekwondo Day!