Memorials Begin for Un Yong Kim

(ATR) Funeral services continue till Oct. 9 for ex-IOC member linked to controversy, celebrated for bringing taekwondo to the Olympics.

(ATR) Funeral services are underway for Un Yong Kim in Seoul.

Kim died in his sleep on Oct. 3 at Severance Hospital where he had been admitted that day complaining that he wasn’t feeling well. Kim was 86.

One of his daughters tells Around the Rings that Kim was otherwise healthy and was not known to have any serious ailment.

At one time a major figure in the IOC, Kim served from 1986 to 2005, when he resigned his seat instead of facing an expulsion vote. Kim was convicted in 2004 of embezzlement and other financial crimes in connection with his leadership of the Korean Olympic Committee and the World Taekwondo Federation.

The funeral is taking place at Shinchon Yonsei Severance Funeral Hall through Oct. 9.

A farewell ceremony is to be held Oct. 9 at the Kukkiwon, the elite center for taekwondo he founded in Seoul. Kim is credited with bringing the sport to the Olympics beginning with the Sydney 2000 Games.

The memorial for Kim is organized by Kukkiwon, World Taekwondo, Korean Taekwondo Association and Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.

His body will be buried in Bundang Skycastle, a cemetery in a Seoul suburb.

Kim died three weeks short of the inaugural Kim Un Yong Cup Taekwondo Championships. Kim had been organizing the event for more than a year, taking place as scheduled from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 at the Kukkiwon and the arena used for volleyball in the 1988 Olympics.

In addition to helping to bring taekwondo to the Olympics, Kim is remembered for the role he played in the 1988 Olympics, as a member of the bid team and as a vice president for the OCOG.

Reported by Ed Hula.

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