WTF President Chungwon Choue’s Speech
Opening Ceremony of the New WTF Office in Lausanne, Switzerland
May 5, 2009
Dear honorable president of the IOC, Dr. Jacques Rogge, members of the IOC, Presidents of WTF Member National Associations, Distinguished Guests, colleagues and friends;
Thank you for coming to the opening ceremony of WTF’s new office in Lausanne. This event is a significant occasion for WTF. And your presence at the ceremony, despite busy schedule, is highly appreciated.
It has been some four years since we had a Council meeting here in Lausanne in the presence of President Rogge. There, we confirmed our commitment to improve our measures for the WTF to meet the global standards, and projected our resolution to realize the reform initiatives.
Since then, WTF has gone through a significant change. Our membership has expanded from 179 to 188 countries and various new international competitions were introduced.
Recently, under the vision of the IOC President, WTF strives to take taekwondo beyond a mere sport, and to contribute to world peace and education of the future generation.
WTF has launched the Taekwondo Peace Corps and Solidarity programs for the disabled and less-privileged youth in order to provide taekwondo training programs and equipment to those who lack in resources and opportunities to learn and practice taekwondo.
WTF is also involved in some upcoming projects for youth, such as the World Taekwondo Youth Camp and World Taekwondo Academy. The projects are to facilitate taekwondo in the Youth Olympic Games and to support the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP) of the IOC.
In addition to enhancing taekwondo’s role and value as a global sport, WTF has focused on making taekwondo competitions more exciting, transparent, and fairer.
For excitement, we introduced media-friendly ranking system together with diverse events such as the World Poomsae Championships, Para-taekwondo Championships, professional taekwondo competitions, etc.
For fairer taekwondo competitions, WTF enhanced training of referees and coaches; introduced an instant video replay system; and has been working on perfecting the electronic protector system.
To further strengthen the capacity of WTF, we are now expanding our Lausanne office. We are not expanding the office space alone, but the role and quality of functioning and human resources of the Lausanne office.
Our WTF Lausanne office will cover extensive work related to international relations, communications, and cooperation as well as globalization strategy of PR and marketing.
Mr. Phil Coles, a WTF Vice President and IOC member, will be based in our Lausanne office for two months, helping out the office to lay out the foundation in a desirable direction.
Our new vision to reorganize WTF into a dual structure is to bring taekwondo closer to the center of the Olympic Movement and to the international sports community.
Our Seoul office will concentrate on taekwondo development, technical issues, and finance. Our Lausanne office will function to coordinate with the IOC, WADA, International Sports Federations, and overall international sports organizations.
It is my great pleasure to share with the Olympic family together with the taekwondo family of our new vision and commitment, especially on the occasion of celebrating the opening of our new Lausanne office.
I express my sincere gratitude to you all who have shown constant support and encouragement for taekwondo’s strive for the betterment in overall aspects.
I also thank the Presidents of the WTF member national associations and WTF Council members who traveled from all over the world to join this memorable celebration in Lausanne.
The re-confirmation of WTF’s goals signals our strong commitment in realizing our vision. We are fully open to your friendly advice and cooperation. I will look forward to working with you more closely.
Once again, I would like to thank you all for coming to celebrate with us this special occasion for WTF. I hope you enjoy the rest of the ceremony.