Push for Muay Thai to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games

PHOTO: Muay Thai hopes to be in the 2028 Olympics ( via Unsplash / Wade Austin Ellis)

Thailand’s national sport – Muay Thai – will hopefully be added to the 2028 Olympic Games, according to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan who serves as the chairman of the Olympic Committee of Thailand. The sport – also known as Thai boxing and the art of eight limbs since it uses hands, feet, knees, and elbows – won a nod last year for inclusion in future Games by the International Olympic Committee.

The 34th modern Olympiad will be hosted by the United States and held in Los Angeles, California, and will be the combination of 30 long years of Thai officials fighting to get Muay Thai on the ticket with the deputy prime minister focusing especially hard on the past four years.

Last year, at their 138th meeting in Tokyo during the last Olympic Games, the IOC certified Muay Thai as an Olympic sport and gave permanent membership in the committee to the International Federation of Muaythai Associations. Muay Thai has been on an exhibition on the international stage many times, and even added to the 2023 European Games, but recognition alongside western boxing in the Olympics is a big step up for the sport.

Yesterday Prawit called for support and help from the National Sports Development Fund and the Sports Authority of Thailand to back the push in the Olympic subcommittee to ensure Muay Thai will be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games, taking place 44 years after the American city hosted the 1984 Olympics and nearly 100 years since it first hosted in 1932.

Prawit says that the world watching Muay Thai at the Olympic Games would elevate the national sport to international superstardom, consequently raising attention and recognition for the people of Thailand and the country itself.

Six government agencies will convene on August 16 to sign an official Memorandum of Understanding to solidify the promotion of Muay Thai to the world on the Olympic stage, while also expanding and promoting the sport at home. The Thai Olympic Committee will introduce Muay Thai classes in the second semester of this year to various educational institutions in Thailand.

Recently in the Kingdom, Muay Thai suffered a tragedy when a 25 year old fighter died of a brain injury sustained in the ring, prompting his French opponent to retire from the sport.

SOURCE: TPN National


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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.