From the CEO's desk: USA Taekwondo World Championship status update

May 31, 2013, 3:05 p.m. (ET)

I take this opportunity to inform our membership and interested parties of the challenges that we are currently experiencing regarding the World Championship Preparatory Camp. As most of you know, USA Taekwondo underwent major leadership changes within the past three months— my hiring as the Interim CEO and Coach Patrice Remarck's hiring as the National Head Coach. It is necessary to make plans and have them approved in advance by the USOC as a part of our High Performance Planning. This HPP was developed, submitted and approved last year.

It is the High Performance Plan that includes plans regarding the World Championship Prep Camp and the World Championships event plan for our athletes and coaches. Originally, the HPP included a Prep Camp start date of June 23, 2013, and an end date of July 10, with travel to Puebla, Mexico, on July 11, 2013. Following the National Team's participation at the Spanish Open and the International Exchange Camp with the National Team of Spain, some athletes suggested that the planned length of time for our Preparatory Camp is too long. A request was made to shorten the Preparatory Camp so that it would start on July 3 instead of June 23. A compromise start date for the Prep Camp became July 1 in order for the athletes to have a requisite two weeks training in Colorado Springs, Colo., at altitude in order to prepare for the World Championships in Puebla, Mexico, which is also at altitude. Several athletes have requested various waivers, as is their right, regarding the Prep Camp. Though a hardline approach could have been used by the USA Taekwondo, it was decided to honor all waiver requests at this time, allowing all athletes to do what they felt was in their best interests to be ready to put forth the best performance at the World Championships, especially since results at this year's World Championships counts heavily towards who will be able to qualify for the new WTF Grand Prix Finals that will take place in London, England, in December 2013. Coach Remarck has been steadfast about not interfering in the training and coaching dynamics of the National Team athletes until after World Championships are complete and the results will better show where his efforts should best be directed.

Every action of our National Team athletes, as well as every decision made by USA Taekwondo leadership are very closely scrutinized and are under a microscope. I understand this from our membership. Many will take every opportunity to create disharmony and friction where none may exist. Most, if not all, actions and decisions that are made by this administration are done so with the very best of intentions for our athletes to do well and to succeed in international competition. This communication is an attempt to keep the Taekwondo membership informed as much as possible, and to allow you to hear directly from me regarding matters that are good, as well as matters that are presenting challenges. I believe that our USA Taekwondo athletes will represent the USA to the very best of their abilities, not just because it is in their interest to do so personally, but because it is the right thing to do in representing their country and themselves.

-Bruce Harris