International Olympics Committee Grants Full Recognition to Three Combat Sports By Michael Troche


International Olympics Committee Grants Full Recognition to Three Combat Sports

Sambo, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing could all be included in the Olympics as soon as 2028

August 12, 2021

By. Michael Troche

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The Olympics have had multiple different combat sports featured in the event for quite some time now. Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Judo, and Wrestling have all been part of the Olympic Games since before the 21st century. It was decided at the 2021 International Olympic Committee (IOC) session that Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Sambo would be joining its five predecessors in being recognized as Olympic sports.

What significance does this serve to combat sports?

These sports have been granted full recognition only a month after receiving provisional recognition.

While this announcement may not be significant for the immediate future, it is still a huge leap in the right direction for the advocacy of combat sports. Just because Muay Thai, Sambo, and Kickboxing will more than likely not be featured in the next two or three Olympic Games, it does not mean that the intrigue to witness these sports in the Olympics will diminish. The introduction of Muay Thai, Sambo, and Kickboxing will bring more eyes to all three of these sports, than they have ever received on an international spectrum.

A realistic year to witness these sports featured in the Olympics would reportedly be in 2028, at the earliest.

What exactly needed to be done for these sports to receive full recognition?

The International SAMBO Federation (FIAS), World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) and International Federation of Muay Thai Associations all received provisional recognition from the IOC in June 2021.

These federations for the three sports listed above, met all Olympic Charter requirements in order to receive full recognition. These requirements involve global acclaim, World Anti Doping Association- compliant testing programs, increased appeal, and value of the Olympic Games and more.

How does this impact the marketing aspect of the Olympics?

The popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) has grown rapidly over the past decade. Certain disciplines of MMA, such as Kickboxing or Muay Thai will now have a new platform, and considering it will be the Olympics, it will pay dividends not just for the exposure of the sport, but for the athletes as well.

Many athletes are very marketable in the market of natural pain remedies, such as CBD products, cryotherapy, acupuncture and more. Products and services, such as the ones listed could expand beyond the world of martial arts and reach a greater target market, such as simply people who deal with aches and pains, whether it be from lingering issues or from sport.