The opening ceremony of the first ever Muaythai University World Cup, under patronage of FISU, will stay in the memories of everyone involved forever, especially the athletes. The ceremony included so many breath-taking moments, the performances included a mix of traditional and cultural exchange, and an awe-inspiring show by Thailand’s famous Muaythai Live performers.

The opening ceremony began with a special traditional Thai performance followed with the
Royal Guards marching in with the Royal Flag, FISU, IFMA, and the University Sport Board of Thailand. Next, it was time for the athletes to shine. 43 countries marched in proudly to the center stage holding their national flags in their national colours. To the standing ovation of the athletes, officials, VIPs and spectators present, the Thai flag was raised to the national anthem, then for the first time, everyone put their hands on their hearts when the FISU anthem “Gaudeamus igitur” was played as the flag was raised.

Miss Siiri Tura, Muaythai athlete from Finland proudly represented all the participating athletes, delivering the athlete’s oath, while Dr Erdogan Aydin from Turkey, presented the official’s oath.

Then the “We Are Muaythai” anthem was sung live and the IFMA flag was raised. The FISU representative, Mr Paolo Ferreira, made a heartfelt speech on this special occasion, followed by IFMA President Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan, the President of the Thailand University Sports Board Professor Dr. Prasart Suebka, and the Director General of the Department of Physical Education of Thailand, Dr Patanachart Kridiborworn. Then Her Excellency Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, made an emotional speech, showing her pride on this special day for Muaythai, Thailand, and the world of Muaythai, and then officially declared the championship opened.

Truly a night to remember, and you could see it in the faces of all participants, especially the proud athletes. A big thank you must go to FISU for letting these proud athletes live the dream, to the Royal Thai Government, the Department of Physical Education, and to everyone involved in making the eventful evening possible.