Taekwondo at the Summer Olympics

Taekwondo at the Summer Olympics
Governing body WTF
Events 8 (men: 4; women: 4)
  • 1896
  • 1900
  • 1904
  • 1908
  • 1912
  • 1920
  • 1924
  • 1928
  • 1932
  • 1936
  • 1948
  • 1952
  • 1956
  • 1960
  • 1964
  • 1968
  • 1972
  • 1976
Note: demonstration sport years indicated in italics

Taekwondo at the Summer Olympics made its first appearance as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The opening ceremony featured a mass demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison. Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There were no demonstration sports at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] Taekwondo became a full medal sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and has been a sport in the Olympic games since then.


The quest to bring taekwondo to the Olympics began in 1974 when taekwondo was admitted into the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).[2] One of the AAU's primary roles is to establish standards for various sports nationwide. The World Taekwondo Federation's technical standards were adopted by the AAU Taekwondo group.

In 1975, taekwondo became an affiliate of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).[2] The GAISF promotes cooperation among various international sports federations and works closely with the Olympics movement. Five years later, in 1980, the WTF was granted recognition by the IOC.[2] The following year, taekwondo was one of the primary events in the World Games,[2] an international competition specifically for non-Olympic events. In 1982, taekwondo was designated an official demonstration sport for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, and for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.[2]

In 1986 and 1987, taekwondo was included in the following international sporting events: World Cup (1986), Asian Games (1986), All-Africa Games (1986), and the Pan American Games (1987).[2] In 1994, the IOC adopted taekwondo as an official Olympic sport for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.[2]

Olympic competition format

For Olympic competition, there will be a single elimination tournament for each of the weight categories. The winner of the tournament final will receive the gold medal, and the loser will receive the silver medal while a Repechage competition will occur for the bronze medal contest.

Repechage: Anyone who loses to a finalist in the single elimination competition enters the repechage. "In the repechage, the losers of the semifinals during the elimination phase will be seeded directly to each of repechage finals, but on the opposite side of the bracket. Other losers will advance to the repechage unseeded, at the same side of the bracket in which they contested during the elimination phase." The athletes who lost to the two finalists in the round of 16 each face the athete that lost to the same finalist in the quarterfinals; the winners of those contests face the athlete that lost to the same finalist in the semifinals. The two finalists of the repechage each receive a bronze medal.[3]

Up until the 2012 Summer Olympics, a National Olympic Committee could only send a maximum of two men and two women competitors, without regard whether it is the host nation.[4] This restriction has been lifted for the 2016 Summer Olympics, so each National Olympic Committee may now qualify one athlete per weight category.[5][6]


Medals are awarded in four different weight classes for both men and women.

Flyweight−58 kg−49 kg
Featherweight−68 kg−57 kg
Middleweight−80 kg−67 kg
Heavyweight+80 kg+67 kg

Medal table

Updated until 2016 Olympics

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 South Korea (KOR)122519
2 China (CHN)71210
3 United States (USA)2259
4 Mexico (MEX)2237
5 Chinese Taipei (TPE)2158
6 Great Britain (GBR)2136
 Iran (IRI)2136
8 Spain (ESP)1416
9 Turkey (TUR)1337
10 Greece (GRE)1304
11 Cuba (CUB)1225
12 Italy (ITA)1113
13 Australia (AUS)1102
 Serbia (SRB)1102
15 Azerbaijan (AZE)1023
16 Ivory Coast (CIV)1012
17 Argentina (ARG)1001
 Jordan (JOR)1001
19 France (FRA)0347
20 Thailand (THA)0235
21 Russia (RUS)0224
22 Norway (NOR)0202
23 Canada (CAN)0112
 Dominican Republic (DOM)0112
 Germany (GER)0112
26 Gabon (GAB)0101
 Niger (NIG)0101
 Vietnam (VIE)0101
29 Croatia (CRO)0033
30 Afghanistan (AFG)0022
 Brazil (BRA)0022
 Egypt (EGY)0022
 Venezuela (VEN)0022
34 Colombia (COL)0011
 Japan (JPN)0011
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)0011
 Nigeria (NGR)0011
 Tunisia (TUN)0011

Number of athletes by nation

 Afghanistan (AFG)                       224
 Algeria (ALG)                       13
 Argentina (ARG)                       22124
 Armenia (ARM)                       11
 Aruba (ARU)                       11
 Australia (AUS)                       844245
 Austria (AUT)                       122
 Azerbaijan (AZE)                       21244
 Belarus (BLR)                       11
 Belgium (BEL)                       132
 Belize (BIZ)                       11
 Benin (BEN)                       112
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH)                       11
 Brazil (BRA)                       133245
 Cambodia (CAM)                       112
 Canada (CAN)                       123315
 Cape Verde (CPV)                       11
 Central African Republic (CAF)                       1213
 Chile (CHI)                       1113
 China (CHN)                       324345
 Chinese Taipei (TPE)                       444335
 Colombia (COL)                       132125
 Costa Rica (CRC)                       1113
 Croatia (CRO)                       122235
 Cuba (CUB)                       423315
 Democratic Republic of the Congo (COD)                       11
 Denmark (DEN)                       222
 Dominican Republic (DOM)                       11134
 Ecuador (ECU)                       11
 Egypt (EGY)                       341435
 Finland (FIN)                       21114
 France (FRA)                       242245
 Gabon (GAB)                       1113
 Germany (GER)                       34234
 Great Britain (GBR)                       243445
 Greece (GRE)                       34314
 Grenada (GRN)                       11
 Guatemala (GUA)                       1313
 Guinea (GUI)                       11
 Haiti (HAI)                       112
 Honduras (HON)                       112
 Hungary (HUN)                       11
 Indonesia (INA)                       122
 Iran (IRI)                       223345
 Iraq (IRQ)                       11
 Israel (ISR)                       1113
 Italy (ITA)                       33324
 Ivory Coast (CIV)                       112135
 Jamaica (JAM)                       11
 Japan (JPN)                       211215
 Jordan (JOR)                       121315
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)                       12334
 Kenya (KEN)                       21
 Kuwait (KUW)                       11
 Kyrgyzstan (KGZ)                       112
 Lebanon (LIB)                       11
 Lesotho (LES)                       212
 Libya (LBA)                       11114
 Malaysia (MAS)                       1123
 Mali (MLI)                       1113
 Marshall Islands (MHL)                       11
 Mexico (MEX)                       333445
 Moldova (MDA)                       11
 Monaco (MON)                       11
 Mongolia (MGL)                       11
 Morocco (MAR)                       333335
 Nepal (NEP)                       1113
 Netherlands (NED)                       221115
 New Zealand (NZL)                       13314
 Nicaragua (NCA)                       11
 Niger (NIG)                       112
 Nigeria (NGR)                       3223
 Norway (NOR)                       11114
 Panama (PAN)                       112
 Papua New Guinea (PNG)                       1113
 Peru (PER)                       1113
 Philippines (PHI)                       43214
 Poland (POL)                       1123
 Portugal (POR)                       112
 Puerto Rico (PUR)                       1213
 Qatar (QAT)                       11
 Russia (RUS)                       22434
 Samoa (SAM)                       21
 Saudi Arabia (KSA)                       11
 Senegal (SEN)                       1113
 Serbia (SRB)                       322
 Slovenia (SLO)                       132
 South Africa (RSA)                       112
 South Korea (KOR)                       444455
 Spain (ESP)                       444335
 Swaziland (SWZ)                       11
 Sweden (SWE)                       22224
 Switzerland (SUI)                       11
 Tajikistan (TJK)                       21
 Thailand (THA)                       43334
 Tonga (TGA)                       11
 Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)                       112
 Tunisia (TUN)                       31134
 Turkey (TUR)                       214325
 Ukraine (UKR)                       122
 United Arab Emirates (UAE)                       11
 United States (USA)                       424445
 Uzbekistan (UZB)                       23334
 Venezuela (VEN)                       14414
 Vietnam (VIE)                       22324
 Yemen (YEM)                       112

See also


  1. Rowbottom, Mike (1 January 1996). "1996: The shape of things to come". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Hartman (2000). "History of Taekwondo: Road to the Olympics". TKD Tutor. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-25. (Link has expired, as at 28 February 2010.)
  3. "www.i-olympic.com". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
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