I’m not opposed to diva behavior when the time is right.
I don’t mind a spontaneous beatdown, well-timed bitchslap or boot heel up the butt.
I believe that, at any given moment, there is someone somewhere who deserves the outright ass-kicking he/she is about to receive.
But an Olympic bronze-medal Taekwondo match isn’t the place.
Unfortunately, Cuban blackbelt Angel Matos doesn’t share my view – or understand the basic tenets of his chosen sport.
Matos was winning the match when he fell after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov.
Sitting on the mat, awaiting medical attention, Matos was disqualified for taking too much injury time.
Fighters get one minute. His time ran out. End of story.
Only not so much.
Matos got pissed, questioned the call, didn’t like the answer, pushed a judge, then pushed and gave a roundhouse head kick to referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden.
Ever the gentleman, Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.
“This is a strong violation of the spirit of taekwondo and the Olympic Games. The sanctions are the following and are effective immediately: Lifetime ban of the coach and athlete in all championships sanctioned by the (World Taekwondo Federation) and at the same time, all records of this athlete at the Beijing Games will immediately be erased,” said the announcer, reading a WTF release.
It wasn’t just the right decision/punishment. It was the only decision/punishment truly appropriate for such a blatant violation of the core teachings of the sport, which has only been an Olympic medal category since 2000.
I don’t know the ethos of swimming and I can’t school you on the philosophy on shotputting, but I can tell you – as a student of Taekwondo – that Courtesy (Ye Ui), Integrity (Yom Chi) and Self Control (Guk Gi) are three of the most important tenets of the sport.
Pitch a hissy fit at your Green Belt forms evaluation.
Display your inner diva during Red Belt board breaking.
But once you earn your Black Belt you better live it – and that means controlling your kicks and your tricks.
The lifetime ban is more than appropriate. The federation can’t strip him of his belt class, but I think he did a find job of de-classing himself as it is.
Way to go, WTF.
Signed: Just another Good Cookie
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