Olympic Status on the Cards for Muay Thai? - Muay Thai Insider

Olympic Status on the Cards for Muay Thai?

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the deputy chairperson of the National Soft Power Strategy Committee, is actively pushing for Muay Thai to gain recognition as an Olympic sport.

Ms. Paetongtarn has outlined her objectives to strengthen Muay Thai’s status as a key element of Thailand’s soft power arsenal. She aims to achieve this through various strategies, with a particular focus on securing its inclusion in the Olympic Games.

Expressing her optimism, she stated on Facebook, “We anticipate the day when we can proudly support Thai Muay Thai boxers in the Olympics.”

Ms. Paetongtarn highlighted plans to increase the global appeal of Muay Thai, proposing initiatives like the introduction of a ranking system inspired by Taekwondo’s belt ranking. She also discussed measures to enhance the professionalism of Muay Thai instructors and promote competitions at all levels.

Furthermore, she emphasized efforts to expand overseas Muay Thai camps and promote the Muay Thai equipment industry, contributing to the overall development and recognition of the national sport.

Meanwhile, Pimol Srivikorn, the advisor to the prime minister and chairperson of the Sports Sub-Committee in the National Soft Power Strategy Committee, reported significant strides in promoting Muay Thai as a soft power tool.

In a recent meeting with Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, Mr. Pimol discussed plans to send Muay Thai instructors to multiple schools in Bangkok. An agreement, formalized through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), is set to be signed on January 29.

This MoU will empower the soft power committee to deploy Muay Thai instructors and equipment to a maximum of 20 schools under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) as part of a pilot program starting next semester.

Mr. Pimol also shared the committee’s aspirations to organize a Muay Thai masterclass in England. This initiative would enable foreigners to learn the martial art from internationally acclaimed Muay Thai masters, including Rodtang Jitmuangnon, Buakaw Banchamek, and Superbon Singha Mawynn, over a full day in April.

He suggested that such a masterclass could inspire participants, encouraging them to invite friends to visit Thailand and, subsequently, boost Thai tourism.

Has Muay Thai been in other international competitions such as the Olympics?

Muay Thai has been included in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). The SEA Games is a multi-sport event held every two years in Southeast Asia, and Muay Thai has been one of the sports featured in the competition.

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