TAEKWONDO WORLD – Taekwondo at the Olympics


The WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) has noted that the eight different medal categories at the 2012 London Olympics were won by different nations. They hope this will help expand the sport in future games, hopefully in 2020.


The international Olympic committee prefer to keep sports in a position where they are not dominated by one or two nations. This had been an issue with South Korea’s initial domination of the Taekwondo events; there was some threat of the newly introduced sport being removed. But as the medals were won by several different nations in 2012 the threat no longer seems serious.


The fact that Taekwondo has a consistent set of competitive rules has helped the situation. Other martial arts, some of which are quite impressive, lack a single set of competition criteria. This mean contestants from different countries, sometime even contestants the same country, cannot complete fairly. This is an issue even if standard rules are decided upon; contestants trained in one method have to adapt to a new competition method, which is a disadvantage to them.


Taekwondo’s standard competition rules have made its acceptance as an Olympic sport possible. This standardization has also allowed advanced teaching of Olympic level Taekwondo possible in many countries, meaning that medals are now being won by many nations. As long as this continues the sport should be retained at the Olympics.


Events such as the first world Taekwondo Grand Prix have also helped. Not being dominated by any one nation these sports have increased exposure for the sport and raised competitive standards. This world event is being scheduled for every two years.


With the 2020 Olympics there is a possibility of a team tag event for Taekwondo, in addition to the already established events that have 4 divisions for men and women.  Other martial arts, such as Karate, are also under consideration for inclusion.

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