Over 100 countries participated this year at the 2014 Muaythai World Championship in Langkawi Malaysia. With the host country acting as a melting pot for so many countries competing in a contact sport, one would think that tensions would be quite high. The truth was, the atmosphere was far from tense.

Muaythai does not know borders, social differences, or get involved in politics. Muaythai teaches respect, honour, tradition, excellence, and fair-play, which are the main pillars of Muaythai, to all athletes. We wear the same shorts, we drink the same water, we all know the sacrifices athletes make to become champions, and we share their dreams, their hopes, their aspirations.

In Malaysia, so many former Soviet states participated including Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and Russia. All of these countries have been united under the banner of Muaythai, Peace and Sport; the friendship and bonds forged inside and outside of the ring will continue on far away from the competition and training halls with mutual respect and cultural understanding.