Thank You from USA Taekwondo CEO Bruce Harris

Jan. 03, 2014, 6:03 p.m. (ET)

To our loyal and dedicated USA Taekwondo fans and supporters, we say thank you for your support in 2013!

2013 was a very challenging year for USA Taekwondo that saw our organization relieved of its Probation status by the U.S. Olympic Committee and returned to full status as the National Governing Body for Taekwondo in the United States of America. This was a very significant achievement that was made possible with the help of many volunteer supporters, in addition to staff and Board members. Another significant change made during 2013 was the hiring of Patrice Remarck as our National Head Coach. Last year also marked a return of our USA Taekwondo athletes to various podiums at international competitions, including the Spanish Open, Argentina Open, Pan Am Junior Championships, World Poomsae Championships, SportAccord World Combat Games and very good showings at the World Cup Tag Team Championships and the first-ever Grand Prix Finals.

You, our community, came out and supported, sending our National Poomsae Team to Bali, Jakarta, for the World Poomsae Championships, realizing that our organization is not financially able to support all of our athletes and teams to international competitions. Additionally, because of the support of caring individuals, we were able to outfit our “B” Team that participated at the Pan Am Junior Championships. This event marked the first time that USA Taekwondo has ever supported two teams to an international competition.

We at USA Taekwondo are very appreciative of the support of our coaches, club owners, parents and athletes. It is your continued support through your membership dollars and through the support of your athletes participating at our events that keeps USA Taekwondo on an upward path of growth and stability.

USA Taekwondo is striving to improve our support of our athletes, to improve the support to our membership and to improve our events so that we will remain the premier taekwondo organization not only in the USA, but also in the world. With your continued help and support, we can achieve that goal.

In 2013, USA Taekwondo held its first Convention that saw the return of many of our USA Taekwondo Olympic athletes to form a USA Taekwondo Olympians’ Council. We are very enthused about the return of our Olympians to come out and support the organization that they made great through their achievements in Olympic competitions.

2014 marks the first time that USA Taekwondo will conduct multiple Team Trials over the same week, rather than have four separate trials events. We will have National Team Trials for the Cadet National Team, Junior National Team, Youth Olympic Games Team and Senior National Team. In 2014 there will be Cadet World Championships, Junior World Championships, Youth Olympic Games and Pan American Championships that will involve each of these teams.

Our 2014 U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships remains one of the premier International Open events sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation. Once again, our U.S. Open is a G-2 rated event, one of only five G-2 rated events in the world in 2014. The others are: the 1st Luxor Open (Luxor, Egypt); Dutch Open (Eindhoven, Netherlands); Korea Open (Gyeongju, Korea); and Australia Open (Sydney, Australia). It is our intent to not just maintain the high standards that allows us to be awarded a G-2 rating, but to raise the bar at our international event, the U.S. Open.

We are very optimistic about the future of USA Taekwondo and we hope that you will share our enthusiasm as 2014 unfolds. Be on the lookout for an announcement regarding a partnership that will be very instrumental in helping to better expose USA Taekwondo and taekwondo in general to the masses. We are also looking at developing a National Competition League that will be the basis for generating a National Point Ranking for USA Taekwondo Black Belt athletes. The National Competition League (NCL) would include those existing, well-run competitions locally that wish to have their event as a part of the NCL. The National Point Standing would also include points earned through State-level competitions, National Championships and international competitions. It is hoped that this National Competition League and its National Point Rankings will obviate the need for Team Trials as early as 2015.

Poomsae in the USA is growing by leaps and bounds and, I believe, deserves its own National Championship. We will be working to make the National Poomsae Championship a reality, and also to generate support for our National Poomsae Team that has been traveling to World Poomsae Championships largely at their own expense.

These are but a few of the ideas that we will attempt to bring to fruition. But, they can only be realized through your continued support and participation at our events and through your membership registration. It is a goal to increase our membership from its current level of 17,000 members to 25,000 members, or more, this year. We realize that many of our former USA Taekwondo members, club owners, coaches, parents and athletes, have been taking a wait and see attitude toward our organization. We have turned the corner and we need your help by returning and supporting USA Taekwondo. As USA Taekwondo thrives, we are better able to support more athletes and to improve our service to our membership. Help us by recruiting others and by staying involved in making USA Taekwondo a huge success in 2014.

Again, the staff of USA Taekwondo offers our sincere thanks to all of our members and supporters that comprise our USA Taekwondo family. Let us support our athletes as they strive to represent USA in international competitions around the globe. And, let’s have a great year in 2014!