Venue: Olympic Training Center, Rio
Dates: August 17 – August 20, 2016 Competitors: 128
Taekwondo is roughly translated from the Korean as "the way of the hand
and foot". It is an ancient sport best typified by lightening fast kicks and punches which have been wowing spectators at the Olympics for the past decade.
Centuries old, the practice of taekwondo originated in Korea where today the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) oversees the official rules and regulations of the sport, which only became officially organized internationally in the late 20th century.
After premiering as a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992, it has been an official Olympic sport since the 2000 Games.
Today, Korea leads in Olympic gold medals in taekwondo, followed by China and
Like most martial arts, the mental aspect of taekwondo is every bit as important as the physical. Major scoring in taekwondo relies on counter attacks, rather than brute strength, leading to the sport's reputation as a chess game in action. Like chess, those who reach the highest level of taekwondo are known as "grandmasters".
Olympic taekwondo fun facts
Athens 2004 knockout match.
• Besides Olympic judo, taekwondo is the only other martial arts competition at the Summer Games.
• With taekwondo its national sport, South Korea is a strong contender at each Olympic games having won a third of the medals in competition.
• Afghanistan’s first ever Olympic medal was won by Rohullah Nikpah who took the bronze in taekwondo at Beijing 2008.
• The most dramatic gold medal win in Olympic taekwondo history came in Athens in 2004 when Korean Dae Sung Moon unleashed a spinning kick that ended Greece's Alexandros Nikolaidis’ participation on the spot.
More information about Olympic taekwondo around the Web:
Taekwondo | Olympic Sport - Complete overview including dates, venue and number of gold medals up for grabs, plus background and rules of the sport including fun facts and trivia, related news and updates.
International Olympic Committee - Taekwondo - Athlete profiles, photo gallery, the full Olympic schedule, plus lots of good information on the sport's history at the Olympics with related Flash presentation.
NBC Olympics - Taekwondo - The complete U.S. TV schedule, star athlete bios & profiles, the latest news & updates,
background information on the sport, related fan forum.
BBC Olympics - Taekwondo - Olympic coverage with everything from beginner's guides through their excellent news coverage of all the teams including photos and video reports.
U.S. Olympic Committee - Taekwondo - The official site of Team USA with the latest news headlines, athlete photos & profiles, along with taekwondo tips on getting started and training information.