We Support Yang Shu-chun!!

The 2010 Asian Games is currently taking place in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. In the first round of  competition for taekwondo on Wednesday, Taiwanese athlete Yang Shu-chun 楊淑君 was disqualified for “using an illegal sensor on the heel of her shoes”. This decision came after Yang had led Thi Hau Vu of Vietnam 9-0 in their 49-kg bout. After reviewing the actual video shown below, we can see that even though the referee did have a question regarding the sensors on Yang’s shoes [2:28], the sensors in question were taken off Yang’s shoes before the competition began [2:40] and were not even touched during the event. It was not until 3 minutes into the match did the taekwondo technical officer called Yang off the mat to “inspect” the sensors on her shoes [5:44]. Upon finding no fault on her shoes, the technical officer asked for the two sensors taken off before the match [6:28], and claimed Yang cheated for having more sensors (those not even on her shoes during the event) than regulated [6:52], which led to the decision of disqualification. World Taekwondo Federation secretary general Yang Jin-Suk, who was present at the match, agreed with and said the decision was fair and more sanctions could be expected. Upon being asked why Yang Shu-chun had been disqualified after passing the pre-match inspection, Yang Jin-suk said he “couldn’t explain in detail because it involved personal privacy.” The decision had sparked an angry slanging match between Taiwanese and Chinese journalists at a press conference, as officials refused to translate Taiwanese journalists’ questions as to whether the decision had been politically motivated. The decision also led to much anger, upset, fury, and frustration among Taiwanese people.

Now, we Taiwanese would not have mind if Yang loses due to inferior skill. Yes, we would feel bad, but not angry. It is only when such ridiculous decision was made, possibly with other motives, that we asked the international community to please support Taiwanese athletes. Due to Taiwan’s much awkward political situation, many countries believe it is okay to disregard Taiwan’s dignity, or existence even, in international events. This was not the first incidents involving unfair decision when it comes to sports. You can almost say that we are used to it, that doesn’t mean we tolerate it. We fight on, harder than ever, to prove that even with logistical steps trying to keep Taiwanese away from winning, the skill our athletes exhibit will always triumph. Yang’s teammate, Huang Hsien-yung, won the gold medal in the 46-kg category the same day.

Setting that aside, we discuss the incident. As shown at the beginning of the video, Yang had passed the pre-match inspection, which leads us to question: if she had passed the inspection, why was the inspection in the middle of the match necessary? And, if in the middle of the match, her equipment was deemed to be illegal, shouldn’t Yang at least get a chance to replace the equipment and get a rematch, as it was the tournament officials’ error for letting her wear illegal equipments into the match in the first place, instead of straight disqualification? As Yang was one of the top athletes predicted to win a medal from the Taiwanese team, we hope for a fair and undisputed decision. In the meantime, we Taiwanese ask for all to support Yang, who should not be penalized because of error not made by her.

Update (Nov 18, 2010): The Asian Taekwondo Union has further accused Yang and her follow teammates from Taiwan of cheating, and will ban Yang and her coaches. We people of Taiwan are furious over this unfair and unreasonable decision and untruthful accusation that not only stripped away Yang’s future chance of competing, but also insulted her and in general Taiwanese athletes’ integrity and dignity. The Government of Taiwan is considering taking the case up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Update (Nov 20, 2010): The Olympic Council of Asia, organizer of the Asian Games, has determined the accusation and description in the press release that accused Yang of cheating (now off of ATU’s website) did not match with the video recorded, and has asked for an explanation from the Asian Taekwondo Union. The Government of Taiwan has demanded an apology from the Asian Taekwondo Union for false accusation of cheating against Yang.

Update (Dec 10, 2010): The World Taekwondo Federation has scheduled to convene a disciplinary committee meeting in Seoul to discuss Yang’s case on December 18, 2010. Meanwhile, the Sports Affairs Council of Taiwan has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)  related to Yang’s disqualification through a Taiwanese law firm.

Update (Dec 21, 2010): The World Taekwondo Federation has ruled to ban Yang from competing for 3 months, suspend Yang’s coach Liu Tsung-ta 劉聰達 for one year and eight months, and fine the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association USD$50,000 because Yang and Liu protested the decision ringside at the Asiad on Nov. 17.

Report from other media: CNN BBC AP Reuters Taiwan Today

Facebook’s Support Yang Shu-chun Event has over 500,000 people attending in just one week of the incident (in Mandarin Chinese, includes vulgar and offensive languages. Please note that we meant no harm toward the general Korean or Chinese public, it’s just when things like these happen, people do tend to lose their senses. Please don’t let this incident affect your perceptions of Taiwanese and the beautiful island of Taiwan, and do know that you will be welcomed if you decide to visit Taiwan).

「要別人不欺負我們,只有一條路:自己的國家強大起來!多看書,使自己的眼光更遠大、思想更稠密、更能明辨是非善惡!如果想搞學生運動、搞示威遊行,我並不反對,但是如果單憑一鼓血氣之勇,而無知識做基礎,毫無目的地行動,到最後只是一場鬧劇而已。」—蛹之生 by 小野



在一群人同仇敵慨時,說句不中聽的話 & 說了不中聽的話之後 by 曾柏文 Albert Tzeng

被欺負了! 楊照嘆:這是廉價的憤慨



About Yang Shu-chun 楊淑君

Yang Shu-chun 楊淑君, 25, is a Taiwanese taekwondo athlete. She graduated from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei City, and has been competing internationally since 2005. She was the silver-medalist in the 2005 Summer Universiade, silver-medalist in the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar, gold-medalist in the 2008 Asian Taekwondo Championships held in Luoyang, PRC, and bronze-medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympic. She is 5th in the world in the female 49-kg category in WTF’s world ranking as of November 1st, 2010.


25 thoughts on “We Support Yang Shu-chun!!”

  1. it’s really frustrating as a Taiwanese…even more frustrating when other nations and their people couldn’t recognize the nation. It’s heartbroken to read this. However, I found it difficult for other nations to support this..obviously the truth about the TKD game is right there… that the girl obviously deserves the win. it’s unfortunate that Taiwanese people always have to deal with this mess, yet we always hope for that ‘balance’ where we wouldnt have to be so frustrated politically and culturally whatever….so i felt a bit teary when I read this, and a lot of things come into my mind about my country. BUT!! No matter what Taiwanese, we have to keep trying…for the future!!!! We should be recognized and respected!!

  2. It didn’t help when taiwanese are divided between factions that support ROC, and factions that support Taiwan. Some may say there is no division and taiwanese stay united in such situations, but that is just self-delusion. the differences in identity is deep rooted and will not go away just becos it is denied.

    There is very apparent anti-Korean sentiments, although there is no suggestion of anything more than wrong judgement from individuals, or if any conspiracy, by the south korean government or from south korean public. So why the backslash? Historical and cultural arguments between China and South Korea – what does it got to do with Taiwanese and why so are some Taiwanese so upset about chinese business? I think the reason is obvious – though Yang Jin-suk do have to take responsibility for talking rubbish and bringing shame.

    nonetheless, i hope justice be returned to taiwan, and Asian Taekwondo Union to apologise for their wrongdoing during and after the competition.

    1. First of all, what does this have to do with the local identities, especially those disparate on issues of Taiwan as independent nation?
      This is an athlete from Taiwan (as a nation or a geographic unity, whatever you want to call it) who got ridiculed and treated unfairly. That is why we unified after her.

      Maybe, yes, the anti-Korean sentiments, or even the anti-Chinese ones, are a bit over blown. It is not an isolated incident, that’s why Taiwanese people are angry and frustrated.
      It is not about if there is any proof for conspiracy. I mean conspiracy by definition is something you cannot proof, but suspect. The overall trend just looks too convenient to come to a conclusion of conspiracy.

      1. If I understood correctly, I believe zoossh is saying that Yang Jin-suk was the one talking rubbish and bringing shame to himself.

        And note that zoossh wrote “there is no suggestion of anything more than wrong judgement from individuals”, meaning there is wrong judgement.

        I don’t mean to be an English teacher, but we are all supporting Yang Shu-chun, and there is no point directing your cannon to someone on the same side.

      2. i’m looking at reporting from taiwanese media, with pan-blue directing anger towards yang jin suk and the koreans, while pan-green directing anger towards zhao lei and the chinese. i can see there is a reason of such directions becos i understand the historical and cultural development in taiwan that many taiwanese are themselves too interwined to see.

        my stance is i see non professional bureacratic actions from Yang jin-suk, while chinese involvement remains a suspicion not further substantiated.

        i do not see reasons to translate that anger towards other koreans and chinese who are not involved and who did not initiate ill remarks. that is not fair too.

        i’m glad such anger had finally brought the taiwanese authorities to stand up, but the unwarranted anger based on nationalities. these irratonal anger on koreans will also draw irrational responses from the koreans – i do not think that helps in any way.

        what is more important is to harness as much understanding and as much support from everyone else so that WTF can no longer pretend nothing happen and defend their mistakes.

  3. I’m Korean and I was horrified at this inexplicable and unjust disqualification. However, I am also outraged by the burning of the Korean flag as well as the anti-Korean sentiment when Koreans have done absolutely nothing wrong. I hope this issue is resolved so as to clear up misunderstandings.

    1. I cannot speak for all Taiwanese people on the burning of the flag, but do accept my deepest apology, even though I don’t even live in Taiwan right now. We meant no harm toward the general Korean public, it’s just when things like these happen (and when the media keeps reporting that the technical officer and Yang Jin-suk both happened to be Koreans), people do tend to lose their senses. Please don’t let this incident affect your perceptions of Taiwanese, and do know that you will be welcomed if you decide to visit Taiwan (I would wait for a few months for safety reasons though).

  4. Strange decision too!
    China will do anything for the country.
    There is no surprise that now.
    Korea is not related to this matter.

    Japanese support her.

  5. I’m 120% behind Yang Shu Chun and thinks she deserves the win and would have won even with both hands tied behind her back for the rest of the bout.

    The Korean judges made a big mistake (intentional or not) and should apologise to Ms Yang. Yang Jin Suk who obviously was making excuses again and again should step down personally or be fired. He doesn’t understand the meaning of “Do” in the term “Tae-Kwon-Do”. Shame on him!!!!!

    This incident not only caused pain to Ms Yang Shu Chun, it also tarnished the image of TKD as a sport and a martial art. I hope the world, not just the Taiwanese friends, would pressure the Asian Games and Asian TKD Fed and WTF to admit mistake and/or stop all future hanky-pankies…..

  6. It’s very obvious that Yang is being framed here simply because she’s from a country that’s not considered a country by the international community. I wonder if such discrimination would ever end until Taiwan declares de jure independence…

  7. Please calm down.
    Do not talk about politics, talking about sports.

    Poor thing.
    It’s available to the Chinese government to ease public discontent.
    Income gap. Food safety. Corruption. Bribes. Housing problem. Environmental issues.
    There are enemies like Japan, stupid people do not revolt against government policies.

  8. I’m japanese and I totally support Taiwan & Taiwanese people.

    Chinese and Koreans often make games unfair.

    In fact, we got an unfair result for the girls’ judo game at 広州asian olympics 2010.

    They don’t know how to play games fairly. well, i guess it’s not not all the time, but a lot of times!

  9. I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of info that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this beneficial content.

  10. hi, nana from OZ , n i really think Yang deserves to win the game, even the Gold medal! She got skills! and she doesnt need to cheat with her good skills! but taiwanese , u guys dun have to blame korean or Chinese, cos i hv alot of korean and chinese friends are supporting TAIWAN as well. GOGOGO!!

  11. “World Taekwondo Federation official, speaking on behalf of Asian Games taekwondo chiefs, said the Taiwan fighter passed a mandatory pre-match formal inspection of her gear.”

    If the World Taekwondo Federation / Asian Games Officials can’t even follow the guidelines they set, they are a useless bunch of monkeys just like the ATU.

    How can they disqualified an athlete over non approved equipment during the match when they approved the equipment with their own hands and eyes during the pre-game inspections?

    Its not like she switched her socks after the pre-game inspection.

  12. News accounts appear to lean in favor of the perception that the ATU officials did not act reasonably and fairly. They had all the opportunity to inspect the athletes’ gear and equipment before the match which they in fact did and which they in fact cleared. Most of us are still at a loss as to the cause of disqualification except that Yang Shu-Chun allegedly cheated, but the videos do not at all show to the ordinary layman that there was cheating at all. I wonder how the ATU can hope to be upheld by a higher body if this case is brought on appeal to a higher body. The controversial decision to disqualify has deprived an athlete of the chance to compete for the gold medal glory, dampened her spirit and probably might set back, if not destroy her sports career (which I hope will not). The ATU owes Yang Shu-Chun, the sporting world and the rest of the civilized world an explanation of the basis for its decision, and if there is none, then it should have the guts of a courageous taekwondo fighter to admit/rectify its mistake.

  13. Hello, My name is James M. Shih, and I’m a doctor and owner of Lin Sen Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan. I was pretty confused watching the game at first but afterward, I gave it some thought. Yang should of been disqualified, and I’ll tell you why. Since the whole matter after our countries circus act during the approaching of election day, I really feel it’s a shame that Taiwan turn a single match into a polilical affair. Ok. Why was Yang disqualified? Everyone knew she took those sensors off before the match. That’s no dispute. Even if those sensors are the proper ones or not will not matter at the end, and here’s why. Those sensors were not suppose to be in the match right? Right. By wearing those sensor socks into the match, even if it was taken off, she can still be disqualified as an “intent to” cheat. She never should of wore those socks in on the first place. It doesn’t matter if she knew or not, they’ll still nail her. It doesn’t matter if she passed the inspection then was told to take it off. Maybe someone did do it on purpose, but when someone dig a hole, are you stupid enough to jump into it? Now, I don’t believe she’s a cheater, but the workers that should prepare her for the fight or herself should of known better. I have been involved in Tae Kwon Do since 1983 and served as Taichung Tae Kwon Do 理事 for 2 years. I tried looking at this controversy as subjective as I can. It all ends at the same conclusion. She should of been disqualified. Do you know all these circus act, buring flags, boycotting Korean goods, and giving Yang a gold medal when she came back to Taiwan is a joke to the world? Don’t let the media or the politicians drag you along. Always be prepared for such a game of international magnitude.
    James M. Shih

    1. James, i think you are very confused. Those sensors were supposed to be in the match. If such issues are not rectified, it will be a shame for sportsmanship. She should not be disqualified.

      And of course, Taiwanese did not react in the spirit of sportsmanship but is angry because a Taiwanese was wrongly accused in the public arena, and some of them directed the whole anger towards another whole nation, whether truely angry or for their own political agenda. They should not do these things.

      That is another issue, and please do not mix the two together. That is not being subjective.

      1. Can you refered an article that said those sensors wore or taken off was suppose to be in the match? I can not find it anywhere. Let me ask you, if those sensors were suppose to be in the match, why did she take them off? Trust me, I am very subjective. I don’t think it’s up to anyone to say she was wrongfully accused or not. A formal report taken to the Federation of Tae Kwon Do haven’t been produced. I sure like to wait and see. I’m all for it. Sports should never be mixed with politics. That’s why I can’t stand the media circus and those politicians here in Taiwan.


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