In 1994 Taekwondo was announced as an Olympic Sport and this changed the fabric of Taekwondo in Australia. A distinction now evolved between the sport of Taekwondo and the Art of Taekwondo.
International competitions such as Asian Games and World Championships now became 'selection competitons' towards Olympic Team inclusion.
Many Hall’s Athletes in the late 90’s followed Martin’s passion for competition but National Team commitment took on a new hunger for success with the Olympic Games announcement. Determination and sacrifice was rewarded when a full Australian Team of 8 Taekwondo Athletes was included in the Sydney 2000 Games. Four of those athletes were from Hall’s Taekwondo: Warren Hansen, Lisa O’Keefe, Paul Lyons and Gold Medallist, Lauren Burns. Club affection was also felt for Daniel Trenton when he won a Silver Medal in Sydney because he had trained as a young boy at Hall’s – beyond black belt and many competitions.
Martin Hall was an Olympic Coach in 2000 and many Instructors were involved in various aspects of the Olympics when it was hosted close to home in Australia.
Following the 2000 Games another Aussie Team Member, Carlo Massimino joined Hall’s Taekwondo and insisted on having Martin Hall as his Personal Coach during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
The commitment of an athlete to International competition is huge. You don't have to be an Olympic Gold Medallist to feel the benefits of Taekwondo! These athletes commenced as young children and later in life developed a passion and hunger for competition. It is a determination that evolves in some members and it is our responsibility to help them follow their dream.
Lauren trained 5-7 hours each day with the goal of making the Olympic team in the -49kg class strong in mind.
At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Lauren Burns was the first ever Gold Medal winner in the sport of Taekwondo.
Lauren Burns modestly attributed her win to “determination and inner resolve but never natural talent.” Her mantra, even against intimidating opponents, became: “We both have two arms and legs … the only difference is in the head. I can beat you there.” At the Olympics, after shedding six kilograms to make the weight, she defeated opponents from Chinese Taipei and Denmark to reach the final against Cuba’s Urbia Melendez Rodriguez - which she won 4-2.