The ballroom at the Radisson Hotel in Bangkok was filled with dignities, press, and officials, for the official muaythai press conference.
His Excellency the Privy Councilor of His Majesty the King of Thailand opened the press conference with an emotional speech showing his pride that muaythai is one of the 13 sports and arts at this historical event. He also showed his joy that SportAccord Combat Games is not solely a competitive event, but also a cultural exchange which will give muaythai a chance to show its beauty to all participants and attendees.
The President of the World Muaythai Council, General Chetta Thanajaro, stated that every Thai should be proud that muaythai has truly become an international sport, and that through SportAccord, muaythai has become a member of the world sporting family. He also thanked all the hardworking national federations and also SportAccord, especially the President Mr. Verbruggen for his vision.
The representative of the National Culture Commission, Sunantha Mitr Ngam, stated that Beijing is a fantastic chance to showcase muaythai, its deep traditions and values, not only as a competition sport but rather as a martial art. She further enthused about all the activities organized by BODA, and congratulated Beijing on the cultural exhibitions and forum, and that muaythai also is proud to be one of the three selected speakers. She also congratulated IFMA on the initiative of the cultural night in Beijing during the Games.
The President of the National Olympic of Thailand, General Yuthasak Sasiprapa, congratulated the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand and IFMA on the national and international work, and wished the Thai national team all the best success in this important event.
The President of IFMA, Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan, expressed his satisfaction with all preparations, both with the selection process by IFMA in sending their elite athletes, and with SportAccord’s achievement in writing history for all martial arts, with this event having been four years in the making.
The General Secretary of IFMA Mr. Stephan Fox made a detailed presentation on both the competition side and the preparations for the cultural side of the upcoming event. He stated that
Beijing is well on track with all preparations and he especially thanked the hardworking SportAccord and organizing committee and also the IFMA international office for all their hard work. Mr. Fox also proudly announced the Muaythai Ambassador, the winner of the Miss World Contest for the best national costume, and Thai movie star, Gavintra Phothijak.
Mr Monchai Chokpaiboonkit, Deputy Director of FBT, IFMA official equipment sponsor for SportAccord, showed the official uniform for the opening ceremony which was extremely well received by everyone.
The Thai Government, which is in full support of the Games, took the initiative for the Thai National Team to encourage all athletes with a $35,000 bonus for every athlete bringing home a gold medal for Thailand, $15,000 for silver, and $8000 for bronze. The announcement received a standing ovation, and now is in line with many other countries awarding financial incentives for athletes.
Over the next 2 weeks, there will be another 10 press conferences held around the world, and muaythai is ready for Beijing for the martial art event of all martial events, SportAccord Combat Games 2010.