TAEKWONDO AND THE OLYMPICS
Taekwondo made it's first appearance at the Summer Olympic Games as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The opening ceremony featured a mass demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison. Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There was no demonstration sports at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA. Taekwondo became a full medal sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and has been a sport in the Olympic games since then.
The quest to bring taekwondo to the Olympics began in 1974 when taekwondo was admitted into the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). One of the AAU's primary roles is to establish standards for various sports nation-wide. The World Taekwondo Federation's technical
standards were adopted by the AAU Taekwondo group.
In 1975, taekwondo became an affiliate of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). The GAISF promotes cooperation among various international sports federations and works closely with the Olympics movement. Five years later, in 1980, the WTF was granted recognition by the IOC. The following year, taekwondo was one of the primary events in the World Games, an international competition specifically for non-Olympic events. In 1982, taekwondo was designated an official demonstration sport for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, and for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
In 1986 and 1987, taekwondo was included in the following international sporting events: World Cup (1986), Asian Games (1986), All-Africa Games (1986), and the Pan American Games (1987). In 1994, the IOC adopted taekwondo as an official Olympic sport for
the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
OLYMPIC COMPETITION FORMAT
The Olympic competition format includes four weight classes each for men and women, half the number used in World Championships. It involves a single-elimination tournament to decide the gold and silver medals. Contests are scored by awarding a point for each legitimate blow and deducting a point for each penalty. Five to seven points with one deduction is typical.
For Olympic competition, there will be a single elimination tournament for each of the weight categories. Repechage competition will occur for the bronze medal contest, while the winner of the tournament will receive the gold medal, and the loser will receive the silver medal. Anyone who loses in the single elimination competition enters the repechage. "In the repechage, the losers of the semifinals during the elimination phase will be seeded directly to each of repechage finals, but on the opposite side of the bracket. Other losers will advance to the repechage unseeded, at the same side of the bracket in which they contested during the elimination phase." The two finalists of the repechage will receive bronze medals. A National Olympic Committee may only send a maximum of two men and two women competitors, without regard whether it is the host nation.
Medals are awarded in four different weight classes for both men and women: