A three-time Asian Games champion and three-time world champion, taekwondo legend Lee Dae-hoon, 31, never won an Olympic gold medal. However, he is remembered by fans as a “beautiful loser” (敗者). Instead of shedding tears after his quarterfinal loss to Ahmad Abougoussi (27-Jordan) at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Lee celebrated by raising the winner’s hand, and in his retirement match at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, he gave a thumbs-up to Zhao Shuai (28-China), who defeated him in the bronze medal match.
After hanging up his robe, he’s been busy lately. He is pursuing a doctoral program in physical education at Sejong University and is also a regular on the soccer entertainment program “Muncha Chanda. “Even my grandmother and grandfather recognize me now,” he laughs, and he is looking forward to another challenge. He will coach the national team at the 2023 World Taekwondo Championships, which kick off on Sept. 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Lee, who started coaching at Daejeon City Hall in March, aims to fulfill his Olympic gold medal dream as a coach after failing to do so as an athlete. He won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze four years later in Rio.
He is 182 centimeters tall and competed in the 58-kilogram division, so his attacks were hampered by the after-effects of his “killing weight” in London. Fans are mostly introduced to taekwondo through the Olympics every four years, which is why Lee has a reputation for being “boring”.
“After that, it was a time of breaking stereotypes. At the two Olympics where I moved up to 68 kilograms, I wanted to dominate my opponents with fire rather than manage points and win. I was caught by surprise and lost the gold medal, but I have no regrets.” Now that he’s a coach, he wants to find the intersection between “winning taekwondo” and “fun taekwondo.
Aside from training Olympic gold medalists, he has other big dreams. To become an eight-year member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission. Elected directly by Olympic athletes, Athletes’ Commissioners have the same powers as regular IOC members, including the right to vote on the location of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.토토사이트
South Korea is currently searching for a successor to Yoo Seung-min (41), who was elected at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and whose term as an IOC Athletes’ Commissioner runs until the Paris 2024 Games. While “figure queen” Kim Yeon-ah (33) was unable to stand for election at the 2018 PyeongChang Games due to the rule that only one IOC member per country can be elected, Lee Dae-hoon was lucky enough to get his chance.
He was eligible to run in the Paris Olympics because he competed in Tokyo.
“There are many people who missed the opportunity because the timing wasn’t right,” Lee said. “Luckily, I got the chance to repay the great love I received from taekwondo. I’ve been kicking hundreds of thousands and millions of times to win, and now I want to stretch my legs with all my might to develop Korean sports.”
The Korean Olympic Committee will organize an evaluation team centered on the Athletes’ Commission to select the final candidates through interviews and other means, and submit them to the IOC in September. Jin Jong-oh, 44, the “shooting emperor” who has won four gold and two silver medals at the Olympics, has already announced his intention to apply for the IOC position. Women’s volleyball living legend Kim Yeon-kyung (35) is reportedly considering it, but not sure.
For now, Lee is throwing his hat into the ring for the WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) Athletes’ Commission at the World Championships. “My athletic career was a series of challenges to showcase taekwondo that fans would love,” he said. “Now that I have a big goal again, I will run without stopping.”