Today we congratulate Beyza Esma Yeşil, who over the last few days creeped her way up into the top 5 athletes with the most viewership for the #MuaythaiConnects2.0 Social and Active Challenge. The efforts of her team, family and friends truly exemplify the IOC President’s words that “We are truly #StrongerTogether” and highlights the whole concept of the #MuaythaiConnects2.0 campaign in keeping the IFMA Family connected, supporting one another despite distance and borders and promoting inspiration and positivity worldwide.

Every athlete has a journey and story. Beyza’s story is very touching, especially at such a young age and her teammates and family coming together to support her in the last stretch of the #MuaythaiConnects2.0 campaign was truly amazing as the numbers rose, earning her a spot in the final round.

Beyza shared with us that she began her muaythai journey at the age of 7 upon the request of her brother-in-law who had lung cancer.

Beyza stated in an article in Haberler about her story, “I was enrolled in this sport at the request of my brother-in-law with lung cancer so as not to upset and hurt him. I was happy to learn to defend myself and fulfill my brother-in-law’s request. Over time, I improved myself and learned all the intricacies of this sport. I won the Mediterranean, then Turkey and finally the world championship and won the gold medal. The most important thing for me is the morale of my brother-in-law with lung cancer. I want his face to laugh a little.”

Tumakaya, her brother-in-law, stated in that same article, “I suffer and suffer because of my illness. Beyza’s achievements provide me with an important motivation to overcome the disease and regress it. I do not have a child, but we see Beyza as our spiritual daughter. Two years ago, Beyza was enrolled in sports school to protect herself and build self-confidence. She had good success in the competitions she participated in. Thank you for making me feel this happiness. When I was struggling with cancer in the hospital, Beyza’s coming to me and saying “I will be the world champion for you” provided me a great motivation and increased my determination to fight against cancer.”

Story taken from:

Beyza took home a gold medal that year at the 2013 Youth World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey at the age of 9 for Wai Kru. Now, at the age of 16, her Wai Kru continues to bring her family, friends and certainly her brother-in-law watching over her from above, joy, happiness and inspiration.

Thank you Beyza for your leap of faith into muaythai through your brother-in-law’s request. Continue to use the power of sport to bring inspiration and smiles to your friends and family’s faces through your hard work, passion and achievements.

Beyza stated that muaythai is more than a sport. The cultural aspect of Wai Kru and Mae Muaythai is also spiritual. It shows the long history and how traditions are passed down from the grand parents to the parents and to the next generation. It is like Turkey, with a long history and ancient traditions.

She is also super excited as Muaythai is in the European Games and Wai Kru and Mae Muaythai is part of the official medal program. With years of practice already under her belt, it is her dream that she will qualify to represent her family, her gym and her country at Europe’s biggest sporting event and bring home gold once again.