Among the group of 24 competitors was Elin Johanssen, 2012 Taekwondo Olympian from Sweden. Their group was accompanied by a coaching team of five, and three parent chaperones.
Team Nordic Taekwondo is a group which represents athletes and coaches from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. Team Nordic is not the official national team, but many of its athletes and coaches are national team members and coaches. Its members include elite-level athletes such as national champions, national team members and Olympians. Their goal is to unify all the Nordic countries and develop one Nordic National Team.
The members of Team Nordic that visited JKTC were mainly from Sweden and Norway. One member was from Denmark.
When asked about their current visit, Coach Gunnar Bratli (Norway) remarked that the hospitality at JKTC was “unbelievable”.
“During the training, the sparring, it’s not about kicking the head or the chest,” Bratli said. “We are coming here and we feel we are welcomed. We are making each other better.”
Coach Niklas Andersson echoed Bratli’s sentiments.
“We’ve been to a lot of clubs all over the U.S. for training with other clubs and other teams, and this is something special with Jimmy Kim’s Taekwondo Center,” Andersson said. “The family spirit you have here, a lot of parents involved in the club … this is not common in USA of what I’ve seen so far.”
After the U.S. Open, Team Nordic Taekwondo will travel on to Guadalajara for another week of travelling and training with teams there before returning home.