Paris, France (June 9, 2023) – World Taekwondo President and Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) Chair Chungwon Choue today visited the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time for the board meeting of the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF).
The ORF Board heard the operations and financial report of the 2022 activities. Choue presented the THF’s active involvement in the Terrains d’Avenir program initiated by the ORF in the heart of Paris, which uses sport to help refugees and displaced persons assimilate into society. Taekwondo has the added benefit of teaching self-defense and values of respect and tolerance. To this end, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who serves as chair of the ORF, and UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi praised Choue for his visionary work and solidarity for refugees and displaced persons around the world.
Choue said; “As we heard in today’s board meeting, the number of refugees and displaced persons is on course to increase for the eighth consecutive year and it is expected to bring the total number to more than 120 million people. We as leaders in our respective fields must do our best to reverse this course.”
“With peace in mind and Taekwondo at heart, World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation will do our utmost to give hopes and dreams to the refugees and displaced persons around the world but we need to have partners to be successful,” emphasized Choue.
The ORF Board visited the Terrains d'Avenir to show their support for the refugees and displaced persons in the program. Paralympian Zakia Khodadadi, whose sensational story of escaping Taliban rule during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games captured the world’s attention, met with the ORF Board and Paris Mayor Anne Hildago. The IOC also announced Marzieh Hamidi, an Afghanistan refugee currently in the program, as Taekwondo’s newest recipient of the IOC Olympic Scholarship for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This brings the number of Taekwondo recipients to 13, making it the second largest sport to be recognised by the IOC and the ORF after athletics.
The ORF Board also watched a new documentary about the inspirational journey of selected refugee athletes, ‘We Dare to Dream’, which will premier at the Tribeca Festival in New York on 11 June. The documentary is produced by Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia and directed by Oscar-nominated director Waad Al-Kateab. Significantly, two Taekwondo athletes were the focal points of the documentary – Kimia Alizadeh Zenozi and from the Azraq Refugee Camp, Wael Fawaz Al-Farraj.