“Universality” seems to be the magic word for the IOC, which is logically repeated, like a parrot, by the WTF. However, this “universality” brings something that no one seems to seriously consider: Our sport is full contact, this means that an athlete is allowed to win by KO.
Four years ago, during the 1st Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, we were very critical when we witnessed how kids, who had received Wild Card, performed during the competition. At that time the IOC claimed: “It is not just a competition. It is about learning and sharing … “,” … the goal of these Games is to encourage young people from around the world to practice sports, adopt a healthy lifestyle and live according to the Olympic values. “
This erroneous romantic concept promoted by the IOC which is implemented specially when awarding the “Universality Places” (Wild Cards are called that way now) left the following results during the 1st Youth Olympics Games four years ago:
Universality Places awarded for Singapore Olympic Games 2010: 36
Medals won: 1 Bronze
Combats won: 3
Combats lost: 11
Combats suspended by the referee: 11
Combats lost by more than 10 points: 7
Combats lost by KO: 1
Combats lost by disqualification: 3
Does it make any sense to award a “Universality Place” to a young athlete who does not have any idea on how to stand up for a fight and who must face the strongest athletes in his/her division?
The World Taekwondo Federation presented the list of countries that will receive a Wild Card for the coming 2014 Nanjing YOG and we are convinced that the results will be sadly similar to the ones gotten four years ago.
The countries that will receive the invitation through the Wild Card are the following:
Men: Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Montenegro, Suriname, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen. Female: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Mali, Senegal, Swaziland, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Jordan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. (See: Who got the Wild Cards?)
We may apply this “Olympic universality” to sports where the athlete who runs faster wins or the one who jumps higher wins, but, can we do it with youngsters who score points by hitting and kicking each other in the head?
Our analysis based on past events with clear and real statistics, and the list of countries that would be awarded with the invitation through the Wild Card, bring us to consider that awarding these Wild Cards is like giving a gun to a kid, nothing good will come out of that.
Claudio Aranda, Exclusive masTaekwondo.com