The World Taekwondo Federation appointed Miss Nia Sanchez, a fourth-degree taekwondo black belt and the 2014 Miss U.S.A., as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the WTF on July 27, 2015, as part of its ongoing commitment to identifying ways to increase female participation around the world.
Miss Sanchez, 25, who was the fourth Hispanic to be crowned the Miss U.S.A. in 2014, started practicing taekwondo at the age of 8 and has been a vocal supporter of taekwondo and the benefits it can bring to those who practice it.
At the ceremony, which was held at the WTF Seoul headquarters, WTF President Chungwon Choue delivered Miss Sanchez with a plaque of appointment as the WTF Goodwill Ambassador.
Speaking at the ceremony, WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“Taekwondo is truly a sport for all and at the WTF we are always trying to find ways to promote the sport and the values it represents. Under Olympic Agenda 2020, we are working hard to foster greater gender equality. Miss Sanchez has an international following and as a WTF Goodwill Ambassador, she will greatly help us to spread awareness of our sport and stimulate greater participation, particularly among young people.”
During the ceremony, Miss Sanchez showed off her taekwondo skill as she took part in a photo session with members of the WTF Taekwondo Demonstration Team.
Miss Sanchez said:
“It is a great honor to be appointed as a WTF Goodwill Ambassador. Taekwondo and the values it teaches have played a big part in my life and I want as many people as possible to benefit from the sport in the same way I have.”
“Young people today, particularly young girls, can come under a lot of pressure, so I think it is important that through sports like taekwondo we show them that they can be involved in something that is welcoming and inclusive. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or what you look like, everyone can have fun and stay healthy by practicing taekwondo.”
Sanchez added, “I have long wished to visit Korea, where taekwondo originated, and am really happy to be here. I want to see and experience much of Korean taekwondo during my stay here in Korea.”
During the final question portion of the 2014 Miss USA competition, Sanchez was asked by a judge about the high rate of sexual assault affecting undergraduate women. She responded by saying, “It is important to be able to defend yourself.”
She will attend the 2014 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final, the 2nd WTF Gala Dinner and the WTF World Taekwondo Team Championships, all to be held in Mexico City, Mexico in early December this year, at the invitation of President Choue.
Sanchez’s appointment marks the third time the WTF has appointed a non-Korean goodwill ambassador.
The WTF appointed Mr. Dave Mustaine, front man of the legendary U.S. thrash metal band Megadeth, as Goodwill Ambassador in Seoul, Korea on October 27, 2007. It also appointed Miss Pongchanok Kanklab, the Miss Thailand World 2009, as its Goodwill Ambassador on January 23, 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand.