Al Cole

Allen Cole Jr. (Al Cole, 1963-Feb 18, 2015) was a U.S. national leader in taekwondo. He was Ohio president of the U.S. Taekwondo Union (USTU) and led national teams to world tournaments. In 1998, he hosted national collegiate trials at Lakeland Community College and led the resulting team at the world championship tournament in Manzanilla, Mexico. In 2000, he led the U.S. team at Olympic trials in Croatia. In 2001 he chaired the organizing committee the National Taekwondo Championships, which brought 1,200 athletes to the Cleveland Convention Center. In 2009, he led Team USA at the Korea Open. Cole was also a long-time lobbyist for the admission of non-Korean students at the Kukkiwon; he ended up in the first class with foreigners and joined the academy's international advisory committee.

Cole began trainining in martial arts at age 9. He studied taekwondo under Chun Sup Chong of Jidokwan. Cole was known for using an old saying about falling and recovering: "Seven times down, eight times up." Cole died in 2015 from complications arising from kidney cancer. He was 52.

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