We must give credit where credit is due. Olof Hansson, the Para-Taekwondo Coordinator of the World Taekwondo Federation Sports Department has undoubtedly been a cornerstone for the success obtained this weekend during the International Paralympic Committee meeting in the United Arab Emirates.
The inclusion of Para-Taekwondo in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was achieved after five editions of the world championships, continental events and multiple activities where Olof Hansson, who worked tirelessly to achieve this great goal for Taekwondo, was present.
“I dreamed of this moment, and I imagined it would eventually come true. The truth is that I envisioned the inclusion in 2024, however it was a very gratifying surprise to learn that this dream would come true one cycle before. This has been an effort made by a team, including the Para-Taekwondo Committee, the Continental Unions, National Associations Members, athletes and the WTF secretariat. Also, this would not have been possible without the vision and support of WTF President Dr. Choue“, Olof Hansson said exclusively to MasTKD.
Olof has made a lot of sacrifices to get this goal. Today he sees the result of his effort after organizing a series of events throughout various years: “My assignment was to develop inclusive Taekwondo for all types of disabilities, and give our athletes the opportunity to compete in the Paralympics. I have spent over 20 years in the sports and this was a way to give back to Taekwondo everything it has given me,” said Hansson to MasTKD.
“I am sure that at that time, in Tokyo 2020, Para-Taekwondo will be a high quality competition where we will have to opportunity demonstrate why the International Paralympic Committee made the right decision to include Para-Taekwondo in the 2020 Paralympic Program. I envision with great emotion the time when the first medals are awarded in Tokyo 2020,” continued Olof.
“Now the path for the Paralympics is open to all athletes around the world and I hope to see a lot of participation in the events awarding ranking points this year. Also, I hope that all national teams are ready to participate in the next Paralympic cycle. I want to thank everyone for the support, and now we must work together to make Para-Taekwondo the best competition of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”
Many events that award ranking points are coming soon, starting with the Canada Open to be held from February 13 to 15 in Toronto, where great participation is expected.
“I want to thank masTKD for its continuing support to promote and diffuse Para-Taekwondo. There will be many competitions during 2015 and in the coming years, and I really hope to have your support with your professional coverage so that all the Taekwondo community is informed”, said Olof Hansson at the end his conversation with MasTKD.