Paintings of taekwondo practitioners have
been found on the ceiling of at least one royal
tomb from the Koguryo dynasty (about 50 B.C.)
of Korean history. The techniques depicted
match those practiced today, not just in Korea,
but around the world in at least 140 countries.
Taekwondo is a martial art that combines straight
line and circular movements—from Japanese
and Chinese styles, respectively— with
a variety of kicking techniques using bare
hands and feet. Tae means to kick or strike
with the foot; kwon means fist or to strike
with the hand; do means discipline or art or
way. Thus, taekwondo is the art, or way, of
kicking and punching. However, taekwondo is
more than a sport because the practitioner
learns to improve spiritually while becoming
proficient in the sport. A demonstration sport
in the 1988 Games in Seoul and the 1992 Games
in Barcelona, taekwondo emerged as a full-medal
sport at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
A kick is a cha-gi, and there are several types: • ahp: a front kick; • dolryo:
a round kick; • dwi: a back kick; • guligi: a hook kick; • twi-o:
a jumping kick; and • yop: a side kick. Kicks with the feet may be aimed
at the head or body, but closefisted punches may only be aimed at the body.
Men and women competed separately at Sydney
in a single elimination format to decide
the winner of the gold and silver medals.
Anyone with one loss was moved to a separate bracket;
the bronze medal winner was determined from here.
General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway
to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and
every one by visiting the sites listed below.