Lee Thiam Huat, one of the 29 referees selected to officiate in the taekwondo event in the Beijing Olympics 2008, was in Beijing, China from 13 to 19 July to attend the Olympic Referee Refresher Course.
It was important for him and the other referees to attend the seminar because of the heavy responsibility they had to ensure that the competition was not only fair but also exciting. During the seminar, the referees were reminded of their roles as a referee and a judge and the need to be transparent, fair and consistent. They were also taught more.
Said Thiam Huat: “The course turned out to be more than just another course to maintain the standard of selected referees. Besides the usual revision on the interpretation of competition rules and practical hand signals and match management, we learned about the Olympic Movements. We were also given an educational tour of some of the latest sports facilities.
“Mr Ivan Dibos, a member of the International Olympic Committee from Peru and a member of the World Taekwondo Federation Council, talked about the history of the Olympics and the development of the Olympic Movement. He presented the topic very well and managed to capture our attention.”
On the course proper, the referees went through numerous simulation exercises to prepare them to handle various challenging situations which might occur during the competition.
When asked for his thoughts on the course, Thiam Huat said: “There is no doubt that the course was important and beneficial for our preparation.”