The Philippine muaythai community looks forward to the time when a warrior of their kind takes the podium with a medal of any color wrapped around his or her neck amid the crowd’s applause and admiration.
“Now, we are one step closer to the Olympic dream. We are one step closer to the Olympic dream,” said Muaythai Association of the Philippines secretary-general Pearl Managuelod.
Just few days ago, the powerful International Olympic Committee Executive Board accepted without objection from any member federation a proposal to give full recognition to six new international sport federations. Included in the list are the sports of cheerleading, muaythai, sambo, icetocksport, kickboxing, and lacrosse.
This vital decision has put the said sports disciplines a step closer to being accepted in the OIC roster.
An IOC session set before the Tokyo Olympics next month will formalize their status as full members in the world’s biggest sports organization.
“We’re very happy that muaythai is finally given full recognition by the IOC. Our IF and member NFs have worked hard all these years to make sure that muaythai is worthy to be included in the Olympics,” added Managuelod, who is also an executive board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee. “We are confident that Team Bagsik (Muaythai Team Philippines) will someday represent us in the Olympics and win a medal.”
She has every reason to be optimistic as Filipino muay thai athletes are a consistent source of honor in international competitions, including the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Championships, and World Championships.
Two of their world class athletes are Jenelyn Olsim and Lee Ariel Lampacan, who are both gold medalists in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Olsim, who competes in the women’s 54-kg category, emerged victorious in the tough 1st KF1 2019 World Championship fight in Hong Kong. Lampacan, who campaigns in the male 54-kg., was the gold medal winner in 2018 IFMA World Championship.
Managuelod hopes that muaythai’s inclusion in the Olympics will generate more support for their athletes and their quest to achieving their Olympic dream.
“MAP has been aggressive with our grassroots campaign as we continue to ramp up our initiatives and efforts even during the pandemic. I hope with this recognition, we can get more support from our partner agencies and stakeholders as they see the value of our efforts,” she said.
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