On May 28, 1973 the WTF was established and a few days ago the WTF celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the historic date (See: Today is the 40th Anniversary of the World Taekwondo Federation). For this reason masTaekwondo.com decided to make this special report presenting a complete chronology of the significant events that have marked WTF life during four decades.
Additionally to the statistics data, we include statements given by the President and Secretary General who kindly gave us his comments on this important occasion.
Dr. Chungwon Chue, WTF President
“It is always special to be with family on a big day, especially the 40thAnniversary of our organization. Becoming a part of the Olympic programme and having the most incredible taekwondo competition ever at the London 2012 Olympic Games were crowning moments for the WTF. For those reasons, it was extra special to spend the milestone of 40 years with the Olympic family here in St. Petersburg, Russia on the occasion of the ASOIF General Assembly, ASOIF-IOC EB joint meeting, and the SportAccord General Assembly and Convention.
Of course, our hearts and spirit are with all of the WTF family members today. We couldn’t have accomplished all that we have without them. But, we will have a great celebration with the Taekwondo family at the 8th WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Bali, Indonesia.”
Jean-Marie Ayer, WTF Secretary General
“As incredible as our short history has been, full of great accomplishments and achievements, the World Taekwondo Federation’s eyes are set towards new horizons. We have shown the world our innovation and value of fairness and transparency at the London Olympics, so now we look toward an even greater event in Rio.
Aside from the management and presentation of competition, we want to give our athletes every chance possible to fill the spotlight and to grow. I think that one of the ways that will help our athletes attain this is through the Grand Prix Series.
The goal of the WTF Grand Prix Series is to give athletes more experience in high level international competition. This is going to increase the dynamic nature of the competition and give athletes a goal to aim for.
For the both the athletes and the sport, more exposure gains more attention. This will allow us the market our events better and gain more interest from sponsors and global partners. Additionally, it gives a better and stronger path for fans to follow the top athletes to the Olympic Games.”
MasTaekwondo.com presents to all taekwondo community forty years of history; four decades that has placed taekwondo in the eyes of the world as the sport that has evolved the most in recent times.
A sport that was born in Korea and was opened to the world.
May 25-27, 1973
The 1st World Taekwondo Championships was held in Seoul, Korea.
May 28, 1973
The WTF was established.
Oct. 8, 1975
WTF was affiliated to the GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations).
April 9, 1976
Taekwondo was adopted by the CISM (International Council of Military Sports) as an official sport for the World Military Championships.
July 17, 1980
The WTF was recognized by the IOC at the 83rd IOC Session in Moscow.
Aug. 12-13, 1983
PASO adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of Pan American Games.
Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 1983
SCSA (Supreme Council for Sports in Africa) adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of All Africa Games.
Sept. 28, 1984
OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of Asian Games.
May 8-10, 1986
FISU (International Federation of University Sports) adopted Taekwondo as an event for World University Championships.
Sep. 17-20, 1988
Taekwondo participated in the 24th Olympic Games in Seoul as a demonstration sport.
Aug. 3-5, 1992
Taekwondo participated in the 25th Olympic Games in Barcelona as a demonstration sport.
Sept. 4, 1994
Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris.
Feb. 15, 1995
The WTF was affiliated to the ASOIF(Association of Summer Olympic International Federations).
Nov. 5-8, 1996
IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Cancun, Mexico to increase taekwondo quota at Sydney Olympic Games from 64 to 100.
Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of World Military Games.
July 14, 2000
FISU Executive Board meeting in Beijing selected Daegu, Korea as the host city of the 22nd Summer Universiade in 2003 and Taekwondo was included in the 2003 Universiade as an optional sport.
Sept. 27-30, 2000
Taekwondo participated in the 27th Olympic Games in Sydney as an official sport. (Total entry: 103, in respective 4 weight categories for men and women, including 8 for hosting country and 7 wild cards) (wild card was supposed to be 4 originally but later rose to 7, making the total entry from 100 to 103.
Dec. 11-13, 2000
IOC Executive Board confirmed taekwondo as an official sport of Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Chinese Olympic Committee announced that Taekwondo will participate in the Chinese National Athletic Meet to be held in November 2001 for the first time. This national sport event of China with 1.2 billion population is held every four years.
Sept. 18-20, 2001
Taekwondo quota at Athens 2004 Olympic Games was expanded to 124. (After Sydney Olympic Games, WTF proposed IOC to increase taekwondo quota at Athens Olympic Games to 192 in respective 6 weight categories for men and women.)
Jan. 11-12, 2002
FISU Executive Committee Meeting in Tarvisio, Italy decided to include Taekwondo also in 23rd Summer Universiade to be held in Izmir, Turkey on July 16-26, 2005 as an optional sport.
Aug. 28, 2002
(Beijing 2008 Olympic Games)
IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Lausanne to exclude three sports programs of baseball, pentathlon and softball, from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and included two new sports programs of golf and rugby based on the recommendation by the IOC Programme Commission, brining the number of sports programs at the Beijing 2008 to 27, including Taekwondo.
Nov. 29, 2002
Participation of Taekwondo in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as an official sport was confirmed at the 114th Session of the IOC held in Mexico City, Mexico. It decided to sustain the size of the Summer Olympic Games to 28 sports, 301 events and 10,500 athletes. And it also decided to review the whole Olympic programs after each Olympic Games.
Oct. 14-20, 2003
Taekwondo took part in the 5th Central Asian Games held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for the first time.
Jan. 9, 2004
Dr. Un Yong Kim submitted his resignation as WTF President.
Feb. 15, 2004
Dr. Sun Jae Park was elected Acting President for the remaining term of office of Dr. Un Yong Kim at the extraordinary Executive Council Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand on the occasion of Asian Qualification Tournament for Athens Olympic Games.
June 11, 2004
Dr. Chungwon CHOUE was elected as new president of the WTF for the remaining term of office of Dr. Un Yong Kim at the extraordinary General Assembly held in Incheon, Korea.
Aug. 26-29, 2004
Taekwondo participated in 28th Olympic Games in Athens with an attendance of 64 males and 60 females from 60 nations and 24 International Referees.
Sept. 24, 2004
FISU decided at its Executive Committee meeting in Insbruck, Austria to include Taekwondo in the Universiade to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007.
Oct. 4, 2004
Proposal for the WTF Reform Committee passed at the extraordinary WTF Executive Council Meeting in Seoul, Korea.
Dec. 8-11, 2004
The 1st WTF Reform Committee Meeting was held in Seoul, Korea and the current status of all parts of taekwondo and the WTF was examined.
Jan. 25-27, 2005
The 2nd WTF Reform Committee Meeting took place in Bangkok, Thailand and prepared reform recommendations.
Mar. 2, 2005
WTF-Kyunghee University Partnership Taekwondo Training Program for athletes and coaches was launched in partnership between the WTF and the International Taekwondo Academy of the Kyunghee University.
Mar. 10, 2005
Extraordinary WTF Executive Council Meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland approved the reform recommendations from the WTF Reform Committee.
April 12, 2005
Dr. Chungwon Choue was elected at the WTF General Assembly held in Madrid, Spain on the occasion of 2005 WTF World Taekwondo Championships.
Report of the WTF Reform Committee has been presented to and reform recommendations from the Reform Committee was accepted by WTF General Assembly.
July 8, 2005
117th IOC Session in Singapore (July 7-9) decided on the programs of 2012 London Olympic Games. Out of 28 summer Olympic sports, 26 sports, including Taekwondo, were confirmed as programs of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Baseball and softball were dropped from the programs of 2012 London Olympic Games but still remain as summer Olympic sports.
July 20, 2005
Extraordinary WTF Executive Council recognized Oceania Taekwondo Union as the 5th Continental Union of the WTF, bringing the number of Continental Taekwondo Unions of the WTF from 4 (Asia/Africa/Europe/Pan America) to 5.
July 20, 2005
The 1st demonstration of electronic protector was made on the occasion of the extraordinary WTF Executive Council Meeting held in Seoul, Korea.
Feb. 5-7, 2006
IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Turin, Italy to expand the number of taekwondo entry in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games from 124 to 128 (two males and two females were added in consideration of the new establishment of Oceania Taekwondo Union).
June 23, 2006
Maison du Sport International (MSI) was officially opened in Lausanne.
July 25, 2006
The number of member nations rose to 182 at the 17th WTF General Assembly held in Hochiminh City, Vietnam on July 25, 2006.
At the WTF Executive Council Meeting and General Assembly, September 4 was designated as Taekwondo Day in consideration of the fact that taekwondo was included in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as an official program at the 103rd IOC Session held in Paris on September 4, 1994.
Sept. 1, 2006
WTF Lausanne liaison office at the MSI in Lausanne opened.
Sept. 4, 2006
WTF celebrated Taekwondo Day on the occasion of the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships held in Seoul, Korea on September 4-6, 2006.
Sept. 4-6, 2006
Inaugural WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships took place in Seoul, Korea.
Sept. 14-18, 2006
WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships took place in Bangkok, Thailand from Sept. 14 to 18, 2006, the first ever team competition (Kyorugi) among WTF-promoted events.
Nov. 3-4, 2006
WTF Paralympic Committee Meeting was held in Seoul, Korea to promote Poomsae as a sport for Paralympic Games. The committee decided to promote Poomsae first to those with cerebral palsy. Following this meeting, WTF standard Poomsae DVDs were sent to National Paralympic Committees in 168 nations.
Nov. 7-9, 2006
WTF Reform Evaluation Committee Meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Dec. 1, 2006
Dr. Jean-Marie Ayer was appointed as WTF Attache in Lausanne.
Jan. 14-16, 2007
FISU Executive Committee held in Torino confirmed the eight optional sports for 2009 Belgrade Universiade, including taekwondo, which is four consecutive inclusion in Summer Universiade as an optional sport since 2003.
Mar. 4-5, 2007
Electronic Protector Test Event (WTF Electronic Protector International Taekwondo Championships) took place at Hoban Gymnasium in Chuncheon, Korea to examine the acceptability of electronic protector with about 160 athletes and officials from 19 nations in four Olympic weight categories for men and women, respectively.
Mar. 5, 2007
WTF Executive Committee held at Gangcheon Resort in Chuncheon, Korea examined the acceptability of electronic protector and decided not to use it at the 2007 Beijing WTF World Taekwondo Championships and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games taekwondo competition.
May 16, 2007
IOC decided to increase bronze medal at taekwondo competition of Olympic Games from one to two beginning 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. (WTF requested IOC on April 10, 2007 for the increase in consideration of athletes’ safety and the original taekwondo competition method, according to which two bronze medals are given.)
May 17, 2007
The 18th WTF General Assembly approved to new members, bringing the total number of member nations to 184. It also ratified Poomsae competition uniform. (Poomsae competition uniform was first presented at WTF Executive Committee held in Chuncheon, Korea on Mar. 5, 2007 and was approved at WTF Council Meeting held in Beijing, China on May 15, 2007.)
End of Feb. 2008
Singapore was selected as the host city of 2010 inaugural Youth Olympic Games, in which 100 taekwondo athletes will participate (64 entries in qualification tournament plus 36 universality places).
Aug. 20-23, 2008
Taekwondo competition of the 29th Olympic Games was held in Beijing, China with participation of 128 athletes, 64 male and 64 female, from 64 nations.
Dec. 1, 2008
WTF Lausanne liaison office at MSI moved to a new wider office room at MSI.
May 5, 2009
Opening Ceremony of the expanded WTF liaison office at MSI in Lausanne was held in MSI in Lausanne.
May 18, 2009
East Timor became a member of the WTF, bringing the total number of its members to 189.
June 10, 2009
First WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships were held in Baku, Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 2009 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships held in the same place. Athletes’ eligibility in disability was limited to those with amputation in hands and arms holding color belts and above in taekwondo. Duration of one round was one minute and attacks to the head was not allowed in consideration of the safety of athletes.
June 10-14, 2009
Electronic body protectors and instant video replay system were used at 2009 World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships and the 1st World Para-Taekwondo Championships held in Baku, Azerbaijan, first of its kind as a WTF-promoted championships, together with the new Competition Rules, including reduced competition area and graded point system.
WTF adopted World Ranking System.
July 1-6, 2009
Kyorugi and Poomsae were both competed in the 2009 Summer Universiade held in Belgrade, Serbia, in which taekwondo participated as an optional sport.
July 11-12, 2009
Taekwondo participated in the 2nd Lusofonic Games held in Lisbon, Portugal.
Aug. 6-9, 2009
The 1st World Youth Taekwondo Camp was held in Muju and Seoul, Korea in joint organization of the WTF and the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation as an annual event.
Oct. 2-9, 2009
121st IOC Session in Copenhagen selected Rio de Janeiro as the host city of 2016 Summer Olympic Games and voted on 26 core sports for 2016 Olympic Games during the IOC Session and Olympic Congress.
Oct. 14-18, 2009
19th Men’s & 12th Women’s WTF World Taekwondo Championships took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was the first World Championships to use electronic body protectors.
Oct. 26, 2009
It was agreed between WTF and the OC of 2013 Mediterranean Games to include taekwondo in 2013 Mediterranean Games. Then-OC Greece withdrew hosting of the 2013 Games due to financial difficulty and Mersin, Turkey will host the Games.
Nov. 13-14, 2009
FISU Executive Committee held in Erzurum, Turkey decided to include taekwondo in the official program of the Summer Universiade from 2017 onwards as a compulsory sport.
Taekwondo was confirmed to participate in World Masters Games (2013/ Torino, Italy) and European Masters Games (2011/Lignano, Italy).
April 30, 2010
GAISF had an extraordinary GA in Dubai, UAE at 08:30am during SportAccord Convention and dissolved GAISF. SportAccord held statutory GA in the same place at 09:00am.
June 7, 2010
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) informed WTF that taekwondo was approved by CGF Sport Committee and Executive Board at the meeting held in London as Category 2 sport (optional sport that can be included by the host city in addition to 10 core sports) beginning in the 21st Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Aug. 15-19, 2010
Taekwondo was competed in respective five weight categories for men and women at the 1st Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore with the age of the athletes being 16-17 years old.
Sept. 1-2, 2010
1st SportAccord (World) Combat Games were held in Beijing, China with taekwondo being competed in four Olympic weight categories in men and women.
April 29-30, 2011
The 3rd International Taekwondo Symposium was held in Gyeongju, Korea for two days in the title of “Realization of Olympism through Taekwondo Education,” on the occasion of the 2011 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Gyeongju. The symposium has been held on the occasion of the WTF World Taekwondo Championships since 2007.
May 1-6, 2011
WTF Global Athlete Licence (GAL) was implemented in the beginning of 2011 and first introduced in the WTF-promoted championships at the 2011 WTF World Taekwondo Championships held in Gyeongju, Korea on May 1-6, 2011.
July 28, 2011
WTF Council held in Vladivostok, Russia approved three new members, making the WTF global membership to 200, the 8th largest among International sports Federations.
Sept. 18-20, 2011
Taekwondo made a debut at the 2011 European Masters Games held in Lignano, Italy with taekwondo competition conducted in respective four Olympic weight categories in men and women in Kyorugi and individual, pair and team divisions in Poomsae.
(taekwondo competition will make a debut at the 2013 World Masters Games to be held in Torino, Italy on August 8-10, 2013 in the same weight categories in Kyorugi and same divisions in Poomsae.)
Feb. 14, 2012
WTF announced it has appointed Dr. Jean-Marie Ayer as new Secretary General of the WTF who has served as Director of the WTF Lausanne Office for the past six years. Outgoing Secretary General Jin Suk Yang was appointed as Chair of WTF Academy.
April 2, 2012
WTF Medical Code and Bylaws on Betting and Anti-Corruption were enacted at the WTF Council Meeting held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on the occasion of the 2012 WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships.
April 3, 2012
WTF General Assembly held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt passed the proposed amendment to Poomsae Competition Rules on mandatory use of Poomsae competition uniform at the WTF-recognized championships.
April 3, 2012
WTF General Assembly approved Seychelles as its 201st member at its meeting held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Aug. 8-11, 2012
Taekwondo competition of the 30th Summer Olympic Games took place in London, UK with 128 athletes, 64 male and 64 female, participating from 63 nations. Eight gold medals were taken by eight countries.
Oct. 22, 2012
Sierra Leon became a provisional member of the WTF, bringing the total membership of the WTF to 204.
Nov. 21, 2012
Creation of WTF World Cadet Championships for athletes aged 12-14 and WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series was approved at the WTF Council meeting held in Santa Cruz, Aruba on the occasion of the 2012 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships and the 3rd WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships, subject to approval by the WTF General Assembly. At the Council Meeting, change of athlete age for Kyorugi to 17 years old or higher for World Championships and 15-17 years old for World Junior Championships and athlete age for junior Poomsae to be 15-17 years, same as for junior Kyorugi, were approved. Amendment proposals for these competition rules were passed by the WTF General Assembly by email vote and went into effect as of December 26, 2012.
Dec. 6-9, 2012
Free-style Poomsae competition was conducted first time at the WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Tunja, Colombia in addition to Recognized Poomse competition.
Feb. 11, 2013
Grand Prix meeting was held in Lausanne. It was recommended to hold one Grand Prix Series around the end of 2013 with Grand Prix Series 1, 2 and final in 2014 and Grand Prix Series 1, 2, 3 and final in 2015.
Feb. 12, 2013
IOC Executive Board at its meeting in Lausanne selected 25 core sports for 2020 Olympic Games, including taekwondo, subject to approval by the IOC Session to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7-10, 2013.
Sept. 7-10, 2013
IOC Session will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in which final IOC decision on 25 core sports for 2020 Olympic Games.
After this marvelous journey through time, a journey through forty years, we must see to the future, we must see a more brilliant and more exciting Taekwondo, a journey that all of our readers, athletes, leaders and practitioners will do along with masTaekwondo.com which always will bring you details, information, analysis and more about our loved sport.
Alex Korram and Claudio Aranda, Exclusive masTaekwondo.com