When a 80kg man completely blind-sides a (comparatively small) referee with a kick to the head, I need to see more than a busted lip before I'd call what he did "effective".
Pathetic is the adjective you're looking for.
ttankzero, sorry to hear your story, and glad to see you are making the best of it and have a good attitude. Best of luck to you. My dad also came from the 'old school' TKD where they did do hard contact sparring, sometimes point and sometimes not. When I talked to him not too long ago, he mentioned both of his former teachers have long since closed up shop and don't teach anymore.
This is a sad reminder of what Olympic TKD has done, I feel really really bad for you mate.
When I started TKD around 1978, tournament sparring matches were full-contact punches to the body, full contact kicks to the head or body. We wore hogu (chest protectors) but the padded helmets hadn't been mandated yet. In-class sparring was pretty much the same thing, except that it was basically up to you to moderate how hard/fast you went in round-robin sparring against lower belts, etc.
I remember when my instructor, who was then a 7th dan, returned from a conference in Korea - this would probably have been shortly after Seoul secured the right to host the Olympic Games - with a whole new set of sparring drills, rules and techniques. I didn't like them; they were fine for the tournament style, but by that time I was getting more into practical self defense, grappling and so-on, and it was obvious that I was well out of step with the direction the WTF was taking.
Supposedly when Olympic Tae Kwon Do was being discussed, the thought broke the hearts of a lot of the more traditional instructors.
The grand master of the school I attended while I was in college was a big fan of judo, especially the ground work. He was already upset with the changes that were made to judo to accommodate the Olympic ruleset, and he adamantly opposed grafting Tae Kwon Do into the Olympics.
He ended up passing away in an accident, and his children ran his school focusing on the sport aspect of Tae Kwon Do. They have baseball caps and jerseys announcing the name of their Tae Kwon Do team. I attended a tournament, I was badly "beating up" the student of the son of the grandmaster. Basically he yelled at his student "He's tired, teach him a lesson for being such a jerk, knock him out! Use the HOOK KICK!"
I thought to myself, "Does this guy have Turrets' or is he stupid? I understand English..." this kid has been wide open the whole match, and I've been relatively nice about that. No more patience for me. I started breathing heavy for the sake of it, and grasped my chest a lightly, as if I was thinly trying to hide my tiredness by keeping my guard up. I walked forward into his range, and the fool took the bait and launched the quickest hook kick he could. Everyone in the audience cheered. It was like the end of Karate Kid, I swear. Except I, as the bad guy, leaned back and caused his hook kick to miss by an inch. When he continued his turn, his body was leaning forward so I was able to do a straightforward kick into his stomach and knocked him off his feet, into the air over himself, and he landed face first on the mat. I then preceeded to make a pretty looking stance and flutter about the ring to let everyone know that the whole "I'm tired" act was fake.
I actually didn't even get a point for that. But it sure felt good.
The cheers died down, got some bad stares. I ended up telling the rest of my team to aim for peoples hands until they got 6 points, and then go for the headkick to win by 8. Sadly, this tactic worked, and instead of winning via the 7-point mercy rule, they won by an 8-point advantage. The only actual scoring hit I told them to throw was the kick to the head. We couldn't contain our laughter, which made us look even worse to everyone else.
Another funny thing, after I yelled the warning for my student to stop because he was 6 points ahead, the other coach always yelled out "He's tired! Now's your chance!" How was my guy supposed to be tired after 30 seconds of low-contact kicking? I'm not sure they condition at their schools... but why should you for two one-minute rounds, right?
In retrospect, I can definitely see why those people think I'm a total jerk. I think I was sent to the tournament to teach me some humility for bloodying the master instructor's face and the front of his uniform in a sparring match on the university campus. The olympic hopefuls weren't nearly as scary or skilled as he thought I'd find them.
<sarcasm>I have no regrets except that my judge for the match was a woman, so of course I couldn't even kick her in the face afterwards.</sarcasm>