In what was believed to be the first fatality in an official U.S. taekwondo tournament, a budding 25-year-old Danish rock star collapsed and died after being kicked in the head by his opponent during a match Saturday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Michael Richard Strube of Aalborg, Denmark, was lead singer for a popular Danish dance band, Point, and also had a successful career as a model, appearing in TV commercials and magazines, according to news organizations in Copenhagen.
Strube, 25, performed with two female dancers who worked with him at a Danish modeling agency. The group was about to release its third recording.
Strube was a second-degree black belt who had studied the Korean martial art for about six years. He arrived in Anaheim late last week with other members of the Danish team to take part in the eighth annual United States Open Taekwondo Championship on Friday and Saturday. The competition is open to black belts only.
Jay Warwick, executive director of the United States Taekwondo Union in Colorado Springs, Colo., said he would meet today with tournament officials about Strube’s death. He said he believed it was an accident but that “a full investigation by the union will be launched.”