Why Is Muay Thai Not In The Olympics?

The Olympic Games are fun for a couple of weeks; every sports fan can find something to enjoy. People into combat sports often feel left out and have only to follow judo, karate, or taekwondo. But what about Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai?

Muay Thai has shin-on-shin and elbow-to-head punches, which makes it difficult even to imagine being a part of such an elite contest. 

However, in recent years, Muay Thai has received provisional recognition from the IOC or the International Olympic Committee, and the hopes are high. 

As time goes by, there is still no update on the news. Why is Muay Thai not in the Olympics? Can the sport join the Olympic Games in the future? 

In our breakdown, we will discuss combat sports and the possibility of becoming a part of the athletic competition. 

Why Is Muay Thai Not In The Olympics? 

Muay Thai And Olympic Games

Muay Thai is still not a part of the Olympic Games because the sport involves a lot of violence. The fighters have nothing to protect themselves, and if the sport enters the Olympics as is, it can be upsetting for the audience, especially for kids. 

To become a part of the competition, it has to go under an extreme makeover. The full ‘Olympification’ requires the sport’s modification and to be more friendly to the viewers. 

So, the fights will no longer be five rounds, and fighters must wear gloves, headgear, shin guards, elbow pads, and chest protectors. 

Can Muay Thai Become A Part Of The Olympics In The Future? 

Muay Thai is a sport that originated in Thailand. The iconic fighting sport has been on its way to the Olympics for a long time, but the process has been slowed down because of concerns about the fighter’s safety.

In 2016, the sport received provisional recognition, meaning it could definitely be a part of the athletic competition in the future. 

After getting the provisional status, the international governing body of Muay Thai has been eligible to receive funds of up to $25,000, together with some special grants.

They will use the funds to improve the sport’s basis and secure its participation in the Olympics.

Sustaining the grounds is also a huge part of the mission because even if the sport enters the competition, there is no guarantee that it will stay there. 

Muay Thai is still in the preliminary stages of the application process, and if it receives full recognition, it can become a part of the Olympics. 

What would it mean if Muay Thai received full recognition? 

If Muay Thai gets full recognition, the sport will not be guaranteed to enter the Olympics. Muay Thai must affiliate with a minimum of 50 national federations, and for the Winter Games 25, to be part of the Summer Games. 

Another thing worth mentioning is that the national federations must be from at least three continents.

The earliest that Muay Thai can enter the competition is in 2024. However, a more realistic goal is the Olympic Games in 2028.

What If Muay Thai Becomes An Olympic Sport? 

So, why is Muay Thai not in the Olympics? Well, we established that violence is the main reason. However, as the road continues, the likelihood is that we will see the sport in competition soon. 

If Muay Thai enters the competition, more countries will become familiar with it, and the sport will receive more recognition on a global level. Also, the fighters will receive funding, medals, and bonuses.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the sport will stick around. We may think of many sports being a part of the competition periodically. The committee must retain and always review which sport has no following and which attracts viewers.

When including sports, the IOC must consider the media and public interest while simultaneously managing costs. 

Why Is Muay Thai Not In The Olympics? – Final Word

Therefore, why is Muay Thai not in the Olympics? Because after a match, the fighters often have trouble walking because of organ damage. The additional cuts and bruises on their faces make things even worse. 

Thus, the sport has to undergo changes to become more viewer-friendly. The jury is still out in terms of a decision about the Olympic future of Muay Thai. 

Hopefully, If the sport does enter the competition, it will not be tempered and lose its essence.

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