August 23, 2008

WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) gives Cuban lifetime ban

I saw this blog which covered the story of Angel Matos, a taekwondo Olympian, who kicked a ref in anger after he was disqualified for taking too long to recover during an injury timeout. The WTF barred him for life. His coach Leudis Gonzales made no apologies for the kick and even claimed that the match was fixed. He too was barred for life. I mean, WTF?

I don't remember the previous Olympics well enough, but it seems to me that this Olympics has seen some pretty atrocious behavior. We first had the Swedish wrestler who protested what he thought was a bad decision by taking off his medal during the awards ceremony. Now we have Angel Matos, who didn't just peacefully protest but instead became violent. In the case of Matos, I think they should stick him in prison. Attacking a ref is not only poor sportsmanship; it's assault. He could have killed someone with that kick. I think they should not only punish Matos and his coach, but they should also punish the team as well by penalizing them in the next Olympics. Maybe this would encourage some better behavior from these sore losers.

(Not to make light of the situation, but I'm wondering how the photographer was possibly quick enough to catch the picture above when Matos had his leg fully extended like that. Photo skills like that are truly Olympian...)

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