Choue had earlier recommended to the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (“MCST”) that the Italian Taekwondo Federation receive the award to recognize its multiple achievements and contributions to Taekwondo.
“Congratulations! This award is recognition of the truly excellent work the Italian Federation has done in raising champion athletes, hosting world-class competitions and promoting Taekwondo including Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation on the world stage,” Choue said. “Thanks go to all at the federation – especially its leader, Angelo Cito.”
Cito, the president of the Italian Taekwondo Federation and also a WT Council Member, said he was honored to receive the award and thanked both WT and the MCST.
The award is gifted by the MCST as part of its efforts to promote Taekwondo Day, which falls on September 4. Related celebrations could not be held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taekwondo Day is celebrated every year on September 4 in commemoration of the IOC’s decision on that date in 1994 to include taekwondo on the Olympic program.
Team Italy won a gold in Tokyo 2020, following a gold in London 2012, and its athletes are consistent medalists at European, World and Grand Prix Championships.
Italy has also proven to be a reliable host of regional and world-class events, including the 2005 European Cadet Championships, the 2008 European Championships and the 2011 European Poomsae Championships. Since 2018, Rome has been established as the only permanent host of one leg of the annual Grand Prix series.
Moreover, the Italian Taekwondo Federation has delivered a range of off-the-mats achievements that have promoted the sport’s image worldwide.
In 2018, the WT Demonstration Team performed at the Vatican in front of the Pope. WT medal winners of the Roma Grand Prix have also been granted the extraordinary privilege of being photographed in the city’s famous Colosseum.