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British Olympic Medalist Leaves Coaching for British Taekwondo Presidency

British Olympic Medalist LeavesCoaching for British Taekwondo Presidency


Sarah Stevenson a familiar name for taekwondo fans who were at the center of an unexpected controversy in the 2008 Beijing Olympics has decided to hang up her coaching hat to wear a new one as thePresident of British Taekwondo.  

No one forgets the events that took place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics that changed the course of taekwondo history and a brought on a new era in taekwondo officiating with the introduction of the “Protector Scoring System” or more commonly known as the “PSS”.

Sara Stevenson was fighting ChenZheng who was a double Olympic champion from China when a kick by Stevenson to the face of Chen in the dying seconds of their fight split the Chinese fighter's lip.

Well, the Judges apparently had failed to see the kick - this was a common occurrence in taekwondo in the old days -and did not register the 2 points which would have given her the win.

So the British team protested and that brought on, for the first time in the history of the sport, a reversal of the decision as she was given the win and advanced to the semifinals.

Of course, the story did not have an aGolden finish as she lost in the semis but she was able to become the first British taekwondo player who brought home an Olympic medal.

Stevenson was recently appointed as the President of the British Taekwondo in addition to being their non-executive director and in charge of the National Cadet Program.  

Since she took charge of the CadetsProgram the squad has progressed well and shown a great deal of improvement.

But was it an easy decision for Stevenson to leave coaching?

"Though an incredibly difficult the decision to reach, in order to be effective in my newly appointed role and to further develop the wider objectives for the sport, as a whole, I recognize that I need to prioritize this above my interest in coaching the development team athletes,” Stevenson said.

"Having returned to a programme where I have previously been the head coach, it is something that I am hugely passionate about.

"I will continue to work with the organization on various projects, including international relations and will very much miss being hands-on/involved with the development of future senior athletes."

Steve Green Development manager for the GB Taekwondo had this to say about Stevenson’s departure: "Sarah'sdeparture is both a loss to the coaching team, as much as the wider development programme.

"On behalf of everyone, I would like to take the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Sarah for her time, energy and passion, not only did she add to our journey, but she had a significant input to the athletes within the squad.

"Her experience, competencies and humanity will be sorely missed."