FORMER OLYMPIAN MICHAEL HARVEY LEAVES GB TAEKWONDO ACADEMY
Michael Harvey is part of a select band of British male Taekwondo players proud to call themselves Olympians.
The Manchester raised fighter was only 18 when he competed at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
And while the then teenage Harvey didn’t win a medal, his Olympic experience was a springboard for a successful career.
In 2011, the Manchester United fan won a World Championship silver medal, emulating the feat previously achieved by fellow Mancunian and Olympic winning coach, Paul Green.
Michael won five fights before losing 5-2 against South Korea’s Lee Dae-Hoon who went on to win a silver medal at London 2012 and defend his world crown in 2013.
And less than 12 months later came arguably the pinnacle of Michael’s career when, in front of a home crowd at the Manchester Regional Arena, he claimed a European Championship gold medal at -63kg.
His 14-2 final win over Vasileios Gaitanis of Greece capped a memorable weekend for the local hero who three years earlier had won the British Open title also in front of a home crowd.
A European Junior Championship bronze medallist in 2005, Michael won his first senior medal in 2008 at the Dutch Open.
Over the next seven years he became a regular fixture on the medal podium and one of GB Academy’s most consistent winners.
“Michael has been an excellent ambassador for Taekwondo in the UK and one of the best performers,” said GB Performance Director, Gary Hall. “We wish him all the best for the future in whatever he decides to do.”