The Opening Ceremony of the 1st SportAccord World Combat Games can only be described as breathtaking and spectacular.
The 90-minute program was a stunning mixture of contemporary and traditional dance, hi-tech visual graphics, cultural representatives from the home of each martial art, kids acrobatics and group performances, and amazing vocal performances from top artists around the world.
The Ambassadors from each of the 13 martial arts including Jet Li and our own Miss Thailand Gavintra Photijak took to the stage to rousing applause. The highlight of the show was undoubtedly Jackie Chan, acompanied by backing dancers, singing the official anthem for the Games.
The VIP area was filled with dignitaries from sport, world governments, IOC and celebrities, and certainly SportAccord and representatives of the People’s Republic of China. The highlight was without doubt when the 13 IOC / SportAccord recognised martial arts and combat sports entered the arena, receiving a standing ovation from the capacity crowd.
The 16 selected muaythai athletes from all 5 continents walked in proudly with their traditional muaythai uniforms. The stunning red and gold traditional muayboran clothes, complete with mongkols, certainly stood out from the crowd and the muaythai boys and girls raised cheers around the stadium when they walked in the parade, catching everyones eye and truly demonstrating the pride that we all have in our sport of muaythai.
It was the perfect opening to the perfect games and regardless of which martial art you were there from, all participants and spectators left the stadium feeling truly honored and thrilled to be part of such a key event in martial art history.