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Taekwondo 50p Coin Design

Taekwondo Video Transcript

Tell us about yourself - and about the coin you designed
My name is David Gibbons, I’m from Matlock in Derbyshire and I designed the coin for the sport of Taekwondo.

What got you interested in the competition?
It came across quite by accident because I bought coins for my granddaughter for her birth and for that I was on the Royal Mint Website and as part of that I noticed a competition for coin design which linked up with something I had done in the past so I thought I would enter for that.

Why did you choose Taekwondo for your design?
I entered five sports and I thought the taekwondo and the triathlon were more abstruse and more difficult sports that not many people might go in for so I thought I would try two difficult sports to illustrate. I’ve no experience of taekwondo taking part, it was simply as a design exercise, those two were quite challenging.

What was the inspiration behind your idea?
I started by mapping out how the figures would go and I found that the basic shape started as a heptagon and then the top and the bottom are pinched out leaving a sort of expanded dogs bone and I then quickly found out that the design had to be asymmetrical and the ideal sports woman to fit in that shape would have been Octopussy but Octopussy wasn’t one of the categories so I then designed the figure with flailing arms and legs and sort of kicking posture and that didn’t work too well and then overnight from my subconscious came the idea of having a second figure in the distance so those two figures I combined and from there on there was a lot of research, I went to see the local taekwondo group in operation, talked to them and had to go into some detail to find out what was the correct helmet, costume and so on and from early feedback from the Royal Mint Committee found out that I needed to adjust one of the costumes that wasn’t right and then that was adjusted and the design came together from there really.

How does it feel to know your coin is going to be in the pockets of millions of people for years to come?
I think it’s great, it’s democratic in a way that part of my design can be owned by everybody and I very much look forward going to the local Royal Bank of Scotland and asking for change and my fifty pence coming across the counter.

How do you feel about being part of the London 2012 Olympic Games?
It’s great to be part of the Olympics and I thought that the Royal Mint were very adventurous and imaginative in choosing to have an open completion like this for all the categories of coin and it makes it quite a collectible item.