The Inaugural USA Taekwondo Convention ended on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 3, 2013. From all indications from the nearly 100 attendees and participants, it was a resounding success. I was very pleased with the turnout, especially in light of the fact that less than one month ago our organization was on probation with the U.S. Olympic Committee and many of our members were uncertain about the future existence of this organization. For those who took the leap of faith and made travel arrangements to be here with us, their support of USA Taekwondo is very much appreciated. Among those in attendance were many of this organization’s Olympic athletes. Their return to form an Olympians’ Council was perhaps one of the most noteworthy activities of this past weekend. USA Taekwondo, like other National Governing Bodies recognized by the USOC, was built by the dedication, training and the success of our Olympic athletes. To have those athletes back and involved with the organization is a huge success story for USA Taekwondo. The ideas that they have already come up with demonstrate the value of having them back and contributing to the growth and development of USA Taekwondo.
A big reason for having this Convention is to make an effort to give back to our USA Taekwondo membership by offering seminars, some free and others at discounted prices. Also, so that we could interface in person and get information and ask questions of the Board of Directors and CEO so that the membership knows that its concerns are being heard and addressed. There were several USA Taekwondo State Presidents present and able to conduct very worthwhile discussions on both days of the convention. Additionally, concerned parents participated in the State Presidents Meeting as well.
Several vendors were on hand and showed items of great interest to a variety of membership demographics. There was something for athletes, coaches and club owners to see and have demonstrated, all of which were found to be useful and informative for our members.
I have little doubt that the USA Taekwondo Convention will grow in numbers next year. We are already looking at things to add for next year, such as a National Dan Test, the rollout of the USA Taekwondo Instructor Certification Course and additional seminars that may help to benefit our membership and to bring value to your USA Taekwondo membership fees. Again, I am very pleased with the turnout for this inaugural event, and I extend my sincere thanks to all participants, presenters, vendors and bid cities. I look forward to welcoming even more of our members to this event next year!
They said it: commentary from the attendees
2004 Olympic silver medalist Nia Abdallah
“I think it was an awesome display of where we are going as a taekwondo community. We’re getting together more, we’re organizing more, and I feel really great about the future of taekwondo and where we can be: not just the best here, but the best in the world.”
1988 Olympic gold medalist Arlene Limas
“I think the Inaugural Convention was a great start. There have been some great exchanges of information—everything from coaching to state organizations, athletes and how we’re going to move our athletes forward. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
National Team Head Coach Patrice Remarck
“I think it is a great initiative, and in the future I would like to see more. It was exciting to see different vendors and different people coming to promote taekwondo. We have a lot of resources, and the Convention has allowed us to see that.”
USA Taekwondo Board of Directors Chair Devin Johnson
“I think this has been a great transitional meeting. It’s been an opportunity for everyone to get on the same page. Everyone feels that this is a new day for our sport, and that is a very exciting thing.”
USA Taekwondo Board Coach Director and Illinois Taekwondo State Association President Luciano Medina
“I think the event went really well, and I’m happy that I came. I see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, so I think very good things are going to happen. I’m very positive about that.”
Staff Sgt. Corbin Stacey, Wounded Warrior Project advocate and athlete
“Everything went well; I met a lot of people, found out how to actually form a Paralympic program for amputees, and hopefully we can get everything started once we get home.”
Vendor Brett Fritz, SIM Partners
“As a new vendor to USAT, it was an exciting and great conference. There was a wonderful turnout, and you can tell the passion and excitement is here with the Board members, club owners, coaches and athletes. We are very excited to be involved.”