I have three daughters, all of them either 1st or 2nd Dan, who competed fairly regularly and successfully at national and international level in the full-contact WTF style as youngsters. Its a great sport, but the current furore over the non-selection of Aaron cook for the Olympics has me spitting feathers. For those who don't follow this, Aaron is the current World and Olympic No 1 at -80kg, won the recent (May 2012) Olympics selection competition and the European championships, beating the-then World No 1 in the process. He has beaten 10 of the top 15 ranked competitors in their last meetings, and hasn't fought the others. He is - in short - in top form and one of GB's best chances for a medal at the Olympics.
However, he had a falling-out with the GB Taekwondo organisation a year or so ago over their training methods which he found personally to be too defensively-oriented for him, and set up his own training camp with one of the world's best coaches, funding it himself (no Sports lottery funding as he withdrew from the "elite" scheme). since then he's won pretty much everything, proving he was right to go his own way.
Despite all that, he's not been selected for the Olympics at -80kg, the selection going instead to a very talented youngster, but one who has never won a major international event at -80kg, and who is ranked nearly 60 places below Aaron. The British Olympic association has refused to accept the nomination of the youngster - 3 times - but the GB Taekwondo keep on re-submitting him. The World Taekwondo Federation is now getting involved, but they - like the BOA - appear impotent to block this.
There are no valid grounds for this decision (head-shots is the only item the elite team seem to be putting forward, ironically an Aaron speciality!), and it has all the hall-marks of a political revenge on someone leaving the "elite" training scheme to go his own way. But the impact is much more than just affecting Aaron - the pressure it puts on the youngster Lutalo is immense, and the other three competitors are also being dragged into it as well (particularly Sarah Stevenson, who's married to one of the "Elite" coaches).
Need to take a chill-pill, but this really steams me up!