The official ceremony was one of the key items on the General Assembly agenda which also included the reveal of World Taekwondo’s golden jubilee logo and theme: “Peace in Mind, Taekwondo at Heart”. The golden jubilee will be celebrated next year. During the General Assembly there were also a number of important reports on subjects including the MNA survey which will be the foundation for the MNA ranking starting next year, Global Membership System, Virtual Taekwondo which will be showcased at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham this week, the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) and cooperation with Kukkiwon.
The first inductees revealed are:
Lifetime Contribution Award: The late Un-yong Kim (Korea)
Founder of World Taekwondo and former President. Recognised for his leadership in developing Taekwondo’s role with the IOC and securing Olympic recognition for the sport.
Lifetime Contribution Award: The late Juan Antonio Samaranch (Spain)
Former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch played a significant role in gaining Taekwondo’s recognition as an Olympic sport. Taekwondo’s position today would not have been possible without his strong support and his term as IOC President coincided with the globalisation of Taekwondo.
Official Category: Dai-soon Lee (Korea)
Recognised for his devotion to Taekwondo and his contribution as a World Taekwondo vice president and to World Taekwondo Asia. He also served as a leader of the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation and developed relations with the government of Korea in the promotion of Taekwondo as a global sport
Athlete Category: Kook-hyun Jung (Korea)
Four-time World Champion honoured for winning consecutive World Championships and helping to raise standards within the sport when Taekwondo was not yet an Olympic sport. After retiring as an athlete, he continued his career as a professor of Taekwondo to train younger athletes and then became a sports administrator serving on the World Taekwondo Council
Athlete Category: Zhong Chen (China)
Recognised for being the first female athlete to have won consecutive Olympic gold medals at both Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, she also won gold at Beijing 2007 World Taekwondo Championships having previously won bronze at the 2003 Garmisch-Partenkirchen World Taekwondo Championships
Official Category: The late Ahmed Fouly (Egypt)
The World Taekwondo Council approved Fouly’s posthumous induction in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of Taekwondo in Africa and around the world. In addition, his position as a World Taekwondo Vice-President, Foulyhad led Taekwondo Africa which soared to prominence at Rio 2016 with African athletes walking away with a large Olympic medal haul
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said:
“I am very happy to see so many members of our World Taekwondo family here in Sofia and also thank those who joined us online. I treasure the unity and friendship that we have, and our passion to instill good governance throughout our sport and organisation.
“I am especially proud that we inaugurated the first class of the World Taekwondo Hall of Fame Throughout World Taekwondo’s illustrious history, there have been many, many individuals that have helped shape our sport and organisation. Today we have honoured some of these giants of Taekwondo who have laid the foundations for us to reach new heights.”
The World Taekwondo Hall of Fame was created by the World Taekwondo Council at its meeting in Manchester, UK in May 2019 with the aim of recognising those who have made an extraordinary contribution to Taekwondo as an Olympic sport during their careers.
The next General Assembly will take play on May 28, 2023 in Baku.