Taekwondo is a relatively new sport in the Olympics. It was originally showcase in the 1998 Seoul, Korea Olympics this also happens to be the first summer Olympics. Korea was only the second Asian country to ever host the Olympics. Korea at this time of the Olympics was in a state of political change. And some believe the heightened world attention helped to drive further changes towards a democratic Korea. Later, in the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympics, Taekwondo become an official sport of the summer Olympics. The world Taekwondo Federation is recognized by Korea as the official governing body for the sports and help to oversee Taekwondo in the Olympics.Who tends to compete at a competitive level?
In general approximately only 7% of Taekwondo practitioners practice sport fighting at the competitive level, whether is local, national or international. This is simple because to be competitive specially at the high level require a high level of fitness, confidence, flexibility and reaction time which unfortunately as many people will know deteriorates with age! Also many people do not have the certain mentality needed to be a successful Taekwondo competitor and so do not wish to participated. That is absolutely fine, everyone is an individual and can decide whether they want to compete or not. Even so, sparring training whatever you level, can definitely help improve your overall training especially if it is combined with traditional Takwondo.
Sport Taekwondo is an important part of public recognition. Because of the Olympics money now gets pumped into the sport which it has never had before. The effect being that Taekwondo is now widely recognized and is longer classed as a minority sport. However, it is important that public also get a glimpse what the true martial art is. The martial art is about discipline, control of body and mind and respect, therefore it is important that those students who only want to compete remember the true foundation of the martial art and don't just think about the sport, because the two are completely different entities.