Eugene Cho

angel kicks judge in taekwondo match

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Cuba’s Angel Matos kicks the referee in the face after a controversy in the bronze medal match at the Beijing Olympics.  I actually remember Matos from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.  He won the gold medal at those games and dedicated the medal to his mother who past away on the day of the Opening Ceremony. 

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those things he will regret for the rest of his life.  I’ve never done anything so extreme but I began to think about the list of things I’ve done in my life – particularly WORDS – that I regretted saying or doing in the heat of the moment.

Don’t pretend you’re an angel.  You know you’ve done some stuff you regret.

From ESPN:

Cuba’s Angel Matos deliberately kicked a referee square in the face after he was disqualified in a bronze-medal match, prompting the World Taekwondo Federation to recommend that he be banned for life.

“We didn’t expect anything like what you have witnessed to occur,” said WTF secretary general Yang Jin-suk. “I am at a loss for words.”

Yang also recommended Matos’ coach be banned.

Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 left in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov. Matos was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.

Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden, who required stitches in his lip. Matos spat on the floor and was escorted out.

“This is an insult to the Olympic vision, an insult to the spirit of taekwondo and, in my opinion, an insult to mankind,” Yang said.

Matos’ coach was unapologetic.

“He was too strict,” Leudis Gonzalez said, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos. Afterward, he charged the match was fixed, accusing the Kazakhs of offering him money.

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9 Responses

  1. Cheryl says:

    I have a daughter who is learning this sport….at age four she will tell you, that honor is the gift you give your self…..what makes up honor is drilled into them from day one… As a blackbelt where was his controll, better yet….where was his honor….She hates that he is “TaeKwonDo”……Ask him and his “coach”, what am I now to say to my daughter who wants to know “why?”…How do I make it right for her?….I watched as she looked down on the floor and said, mommy it is so sad….I thought she was feeling sorry for the ref…..No….she says he lost all honor in front of not just his mommy and daddy, but the world…..she feels sorry for him, she says a boy with no honor is nothing…..what can one say to that…..On a more better note…..she is a BIG FAN of Maria de Roserio Espinoza, and wants to know where she can get an photo with her signature on it…..she said she wants to be Maria when she grows up….that is left to be seen.

  2. Benji says:

    There’s only one word that describes what he did: Despicable.

  3. TIMMY says:

    DID ANYONE SMELL THAT… YOU THINK THE REF SHAT HIMSELF IMMETATELY BEFORE OR AFTER THAT CHUCK NORRIS STYLE ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE FACE? .. IF THE REF WASNT AUTISTIC HE IS NOW

  4. miles says:

    Thank God he’s not Puerto Rican. (Phew..)

  5. j says:

    where is Jet Li/Jackie Chan……need to teach this freak a lesson or two about what Martial Arts stands for….all stands for HONOR, INTEGRITY, RESPECT……i support the life time ban on this guy….he should never be allowed to compete in both domestically and internationally…..

  6. Yonas says:

    Caption:

    “Smell My Toe!”

  7. hatori29 says:

    Now, that’s one angry man…

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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