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08 July 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Summer Universiade, Taekwondo

Practicing Sport to expand Social Opportunities



Yilmaz Elif (TUR)GWANGJU - Today’s Universiade medal winner Yilmaz Elif (TUR) who shared her 3rd place in the taekwondo women’s individual poomsae with Liao Wen-hsuan from Chinese Taipei, can be recognized as one of those powerful and influencing leaders who can dethrone western stereotypes about Muslim culture and religion and be a good example for others.  

There was a time sport was forbidden for women in Islamic countries. However, the situation luckily changed. Today, you can watch more often Muslim girls playing rugby or compete in taekwondo. Look for example at the women’s individual poomsae final in taekwondo. Besides Yilmaz Elif, there were other female athletes representing Muslim countries, for instance Iranian athlete Salahshouri Marjan was showing her taekwondo skills as well.

Following the rules and laws of their cultures those girls are not just athletes. They are role models for many of their compatriots. They live the full sports life, compete for medals and win. They use their success to expand their social opportunities and perform as a way of self-expression. “There are many girls practicing taekwondo in my country. Those girls love this sport. I am from a very successful team in Turkey. We have brought home plenty of medals from international competitions. Turkish people love us due to our success in taekwondo”, Yilmaz Elif comments. “I am the luckiest girl because I have a family, which is very supportive and understands me well. My father was a triple world champion in taekwondo. Moreover, I started taekwondo because of him. For me, practicing taekwondo is a passion. It is my life. When you come to the venue, you can feel everything: passion, power. Being a woman is not important here. There is no gender”, the Turkish athlete states.


Lubov Kudelko (Belarus), FISU Young Reporter



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