Once again, Billy and Tracy hit the road for a TKD tournament. This time was Colorado Springs for the Hanmadong. It was the 10th year that the Hanmadong has taken place outside Korea and it draws and international crowd - Korea, China, Costa Rica - to name a few.
The intent of the Hanmadong is a bit different than Nationals. Nationals is all about high level competition and visibility to Olympic programming. The Hanmadong promotes the philosophy of TKD, both competitiveness but also the rigor, spirituality, community and practice of TKD. You see families competing together and ages 4-94. In fact, the oldest competitor this year was 94 and an orange belt (which means she started TKD at 93! Remind me to take up TKD at 93!) She looked great!
Another difference is that it focuses on the "creative" parts of TKD so … board breaking, Demo, pomsea (forms) and weapons. (Nationals is only sparring and pomsea) Billy competed in weapons and Pomsea and did really well, taking home a Gold (in weapons) and Silver (in forms). Not bad for his 1st time at the Hanmadong.
As a celebration of the athletes, they also hold an opening ceremony with a parade of athletes, honors and speeches by the Olympic TKD Committee and a performance by K Tigers - a Korean Demo group that is simply amazing.
The only downside of this tournament was that we didn't get to see any part of Colorado Springs because we were too busy with the tournament. I think we'll extend our trip next year and make it our family summer vacation.
Billy had fun competing and hanging out with his buddies (Zach, Adam, Noah, etc). Its such a great group of kids and parent and the coaches are the best.
Overall WTA took home 8 medals on day 1 and 20 medals on day 2. Since day 2 is focused on weapons, its fair to say that WTA swept the weapons competition. It was so fun to know that our organization is so skilled at weapons and has such great coaching (Master Lemon and Master Jones!!)
On Saturday night, they host a gala followed by an after party for the kids. Its really a crazy dance party and fun for the kids to hang out together, across teams. In a very small world moment, Billy and I made friends at dinner with the founder of Old Chicago and a Korean journalist. It was so fun to talk to them, hear their connections to TKD and talk about the competition. We made friends, go figure!
Here the highlights in pictures - Way to go Billy - so proud of you! We love you to pieces....
Billy Pomsea - Silver medal, missed tying Gold by .1 of a pt.
Billy BoStaff - Gold medal, Zach got Silver and was thrilled
Billy Warm UPs - Getting loosened up with the team
K Tigers - Seriously Goggle them, they are amazing
Athletes walk in - It felt like the Olympics!
They even serve beer (which got me through the 2 hour opening ceremonies Friday night after being at the competition for 10 hours already...)
Master Lemon and Ms Grayce took Silver in pairs pomsea. They were .1 off from tying the Gold medal team from China - well done!