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  • Steve McNally

A Message from USATKD CEO, Steve McNally

This article was originally published in the USATKD Newsletter, which is sent to members. If you would like to receive the newsletter in future, please send an email to

USATKD continues to evolve, striving to provide an environment where Team USA Taekwondo athlete’s dreams are unlimited. When we started the Create the Future project the organization didn’t employ a single coach, fund a single athlete and did very little to raise the standard of performance. The U.S. had lost respect internationally and the confidence of those domestically that it could drive U.S. athletic success while in parallel keeping them safe. Our Create the Future project was the plan to first fix those issues, and then build on opportunity to develop truly world class programs and services available to all - we are already starting to see really promising results, with much more to come (Create the Future)

USA Taekwondo has chosen a path designed to lead to a destination that is comparable with highly respected pro sport programs - and it is available to any taekwondo athlete who can show they are great or have the potential to be great with receipt of the highest level of support. Progressing through the USATKD Academy Programs (Talent ID and training camps), competing in meaningful events, and continuing to show up and show off your skills will lead to world-class opportunities.

For those who demonstrate greatness, the rewards will come.

We understand the harsh reality that taekwondo is an expensive sport at the highest level – it is an almost impossible grind to succeed without serious financial, medical, and emotional support - amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars per athlete, and countless hours in each Olympic training cycle. Our commitment to you is to directly invest as much money as we can raise from USATKD programs and events to support U.S. athletes at all levels and ages.

The USA Taekwondo Academy High-Performance Team move to North Carolina is perhaps the most exciting development in Taekwondo in this country for a long, long time. This move encompasses unprecedented outside financial investment in our sport, along with world class medical support, psychological and nutritional services, leading edge injury prevention and highly scientific, individualized strength & conditioning programs in a world-class facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. Additionally, the U.S Academy High-Performance athletes will be a part of performance studies led by renowned academic institutions worldwide, giving our U.S. athletes an edge like never before. You can find out more about our amazing new home at UNC Charlotte by clicking this link.

Most importantly, USATKD demonstrably has zero tolerance for risk when it comes to sexual abuse - potential or actualized. We are proud of progress made in driving abusers from our community, and the swift, decisiveness in which we move when presented with allegations or see the signs of potentially problematic behavior. USATKD’s SafeSport training is available to all members and parents of athletes, and helps all to identify potential signs of abuse and provide details on how to report appropriately. Safety for every individual is critical - athletes, coaches, parents, volunteers, and staff. We encourage everyone to visit the SafeSport site by clicking this link.

Today, our U.S. Taekwondo athletes are safer and have earned the respect of the global Taekwondo community again. U.S. Academy High-Performance Athletes, supported by the U.S. National Governing Body (NGB), the USOPC and now our fantastic partners in North Carolina, are making impressive progress up the World and Olympic rankings, and consistently deliver medal winning performances while taking on the best in the world. We are hugely proud of them and can’t wait to grow the U.S. Academy Team soon.

As USATKD moves into the next phase of its Create the Future project, it is with one goal in mind – for The United States to be the undisputed #1 Taekwondo program in the world by the time LA2028 invites the world to our shores. This phase marks the beginning of a major expansion of the Academy Program over the coming months, opening the doors to you, our U.S. athletes, and providing a fair and equal path for all. This expansion will provide unrivaled opportunities to train at the highest level with elite peer groups, while working in lockstep with the best coaches and a highly skilled professional staff dedicated to serving athlete’s needs and desires while in world-class facilities worthy of our Olympic Taekwondo organizational designation. More details are forthcoming on this exciting new phase of the Create the Future project.

Additionally, we are proud to announce Adidas Combat Sports as the new principal sponsor and partner of the USATKD Academy Program, providing financial investment, apparel, and technical gear to U.S. athletes - expect to hear much more on this relationship soon!

At last, we can say we have everything we need to help U.S. athletes deliver at the highest level. We are so excited to see what properly funded and supported athletes can achieve - the sky is the limit.

We can’t wait to see what you can do.

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