IPC PresIPC President awarded Honorary 9th Dan. WORLD TAEKWONDO

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons was today awarded an honorary 9th dan Taekwondo black belt certificate by World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue at the federation’s headquarters in Seoul. 

The prestigious award was presented to President Parsons in recognition of his support for the development of Para Taekwondo. The ceremony was attended by Mrs. Marcela Parsons, Mr. Lee Kyuseok, Vice President of World Taekwondo, Mr. Jung Kook-hyun and Mr. Jin-bang Yang, World Taekwondo Council members, Mr. Jeongkang Seo, World Taekwondo Secretary General, as well as members of the Korean Paralympic Committee. 

President Parsons has attended several Para Taekwondo events over the past year, including the Manchester 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix Final and the Paris 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix, where he discussed the future development of the sport and the exciting preparations for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. 

World Taekwondo President Choue said: "We welcome President Andrew Parsons to the World Taekwondo headquarters for the first time. The close cooperation between World Taekwondo and the IPC in recent years has enabled Taekwondo to make a successful debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. We are delighted to present President Parsons with this honorary black belt."

Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee. WORLD TAEKWONDO
Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee. WORLD TAEKWONDO

Speaking at the ceremony, President Parsons, who visited the World Taekwondo Headquarters while in Korea for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, said: "It is a great honour to receive this Honorary 9th Dan black belt. I know how important it is to the taekwondo community. One thing that really touched me was when you mentioned that this is not given to people who have excelled in taekwondo activities, but to people who have taekwondo in their heart or who live by taekwondo values. And I believe in the values of taekwondo." 

"World Taekwondo is an international federation that does a lot of incredible humanitarian work. You are not only an incredible sport, as I saw in Manchester and Paris at the Grand Prix. You are also a sport that brings people together and spreads good all over the world," he added. 

Para Taekwondo made its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and following its successful introduction, the IPC increased the number of medal events for the sport at the Games from 6 to 10 and the number of athletes from 72 to 120. In January last year, the IPC also confirmed Para Taekwondo's place at Los Angeles 2028, marking the sport's third successful Games. 

President Parsons joins the following individuals who have received this prestigious honour in the past: His Holiness Pope Francis, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, IOC Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jacques Rogge, and Thomas Bach, and former IPC President Sir Philip Craven.