The elements of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water took centre stage as Muaythai was prominently featured as part of the Fire element in the opening show. Set against a backdrop of cultural significance and soft power, Muaythai will be represented for the duration of the event. The demonstration team from Thailand will not only perform at the opening ceremony but will also showcase their skills daily on the main stage, fostering a deeper connection between Thailand and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of distinguished guests from all corners of the globe, including Ivo Ferriani, the President of SportAccord, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the Sport Minister. The IOC delegation comprised of the IOC Vice President and various IOC members. Representatives from over 60 National Olympic Committees actively participated in the event. Moreover, the ceremony was graced by the presence of many Royal Dignitaries such as HSH Prince Albert II, Sheikh Khalid, President of the Bahraini NOC, and many more notable figures such including various Heads of State and Diplomatic missions. Certainly, executive representatives of SportAccord and the 16 participating International Federations from the 3 umbrella groups of ASOIF, ARISF and AIMS.
The Royal Thai Government was represented by His Excellency Mr. Jakkaphon Tangsutthitham, the deputy General Secretary to the The Honorable Prime Minister of Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, who is expected to visit the Games, further solidifying the bond between the two nations. Also present to represent the Kingdom of Thailand was His Excellency Darm Boontham, Ambassador of Thailand to Saudi Arabia.
For the first time in the history of the Games, inclusivity is at the forefront, with athletes participating in not just the Olympic events, but also in the Para and Special Olympic disciplines. The spotlight now shines brightly on athletes from all corners of the globe, of All Abilities.
Muaythai is poised to redefine standards by competing in Combat Muaythai, Para, Special, and cultural disciplines of Mai Muay and Wai Kru. All these disciplines will be included in the event’s full medal program. Furthermore, the event will be broadcast live for five days on Channel 9, underscoring its status as a globally significant event akin to the Olympic Games for Combat sports.
Thailand can proudly boast of qualifying in not only Muaythai, but also in Jujitsu, Kickboxing, and Taekwondo for this event. The nation will be sending its top Thai team, including two winners from the RWS world series, to compete against the world’s best athletes.
With the event set to be telecast in over 200 countries, it promises to be a grand stage for showcasing Thailand to the world.
Over the next ten days, more than 2000 athletes representing 16 combat sports will dominate the stage. It’s crucial to acknowledge the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s significant role in this event. The Vision 2030 initiative, under the guidance of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal Al-Saud, emphasizes inclusivity, forming a vital element of this sporting spectacle.
Chairman of the world combat games, and Vice President of SportAccord Stephan Fox stated:
“These games promote inclusion non-discrimination and equality which is much need in the challenging times we find ourselves in today. Martial arts brings together a 1000 years of respect and respect is the key to everything.”