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US Olympic team tae kwon do sydney 2000 gold medal martial arts competition on stage

Trygve's digital diary
March 13th, 2000

"On stage with the 2000 US Olympic Tae Kwon Do team"

2000 US Olympic Tae Kwon Do team exhibition

At the age of 13, long before starring as "Dragon" in the action/adventure film, Dragon and the Hawk, Julian Jung Lee was the Korean Junior National Tae Kwon Do Champion. He attained the rank of Korean National Tae Kwon Do Light Fin Weight Champion, before deciding to move to the United States where he taught many National and Junior Olympic Champions, winning countless awards for his teaching, including "Best Instructor of the Year "(1984) and "Master of the Year"(1985) from the Pan American Tae Kwon Do Instructors Society.

Julian spars with Alan

Julian Jung Lee was a member of the organizing committee for the 14th U.S. National Tae Kwon Championship Seoul Olympic (exhibition) Tryouts in 1988. In 1989 he was special assistant to the International Olympic Committee for the IOC 95th session in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Lee was also appointed Director of the U.S. National Tae Kwon Do Olympic Team in 1989 by the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Union, and took his team to the 9th World Tae Kwon Do Championships in Soeul, Korea, where they won 2nd place overall out of 70 countries competing.

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Lee was Director of the Korean All Star Tae Kwon Do team in 1995 and was one of the tae kwon do masters instrumental in getting tae kwon do accepted as a medaled Olympic sport in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

In appreciation of Julian Lee's long-time efforts to get Tae Kwon Do recognized by the International Olympics Committee, the first-ever United States Olympic Tae Kwon Do team took a break from training to come up from the Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs for an on-stage demonstration and exhibition bout before a special showing of Dragon and the Hawk at the 2100-seat Historic Paramount Theater in Downtown Denver.

I had the honor of introducing the team to the awaiting crowd. At least that was the plan.

Events, of course, rarely go entirely as planned, and the intro ran a little longer than expected as we wondered what had happened to our special guests.

It seemed unlikely that anyone could have abducted the entire US Olympic team--and a team of champion martial artists at that.

Had it been the US Synchronized Swimming team, I might have been more worried, but then, if they'd been our guests for the event, I'd have been even more concerned about just how they were going to do their on-stage exhibition of their sport and whether the insurance would have covered the resulting damage to the Paramount's carpeting.

Does anybody know if there's a law against yelling, "FLOOD!" in a crowded theater?
...oh, yeah...where was I...?

Trygve welcomes the olympic team to the Paramount

You know, if you want to be a villain bent on world domination, you have to be versatile. No matter what Hollywood might want you to think, it's not all nuclear-laser-death-rays and mutant-zombie-killer-minions.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you may have no choice but to resort to stand-up comedy.

introducing the first US olympic Tae Kwon Do team

But, well before I'd made a dent in my supply of ready comedy material, the team arrived. Not even a seventh-degree black belt will get you through a traffic jam (though exploring this possibility in a future film is extremely tempting)--and they were rushed onto the stage.

There wasn't quite enough time to get them into uniform, but that didn't deter them from demonstrating their skills on stage and we were all suitably impressed and rooting for their upcoming shot at the gold. Good luck, Team!

Additional information about the Olympic Tae Kwon Do team is available at:

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