Kickboxing, Muay Thai, & Sambo Receive Olympic Status


There is major news in the world of kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Sambo.

The International Olympic Committee has announced that the three combat sports mentioned above have been granted Olympic recognition. While kickboxing and sambo had provisional recognition dating back to 2018, this is a full recognition. Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Sambo join lacrosse, Icestocksport, and the International Cheer Union in the new wave of officially recognized Olympic sports.

Vasily Shestakov, the President of the International Sambo Federation, had the following to say (h/t Inside The Games).

“Today, a truly joyful moment has come to our big sambo family. FIAS received provisional IOC recognition three years ago, and during this time we’ve had to prove to the whole world and ourselves that we deserve more. This period coincided with a difficult situation in the world – the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all aspects of life, including organizing and conducting of sports events.

“But we have learned to work in crisis conditions, adapt to various restrictions and conduct international tournaments under unconventional conditions. At first, the mission seemed impossible, nevertheless, joint efforts let us manage. This became possible largely due to the well-coordinated work of national and continental sambo federations and, of course, the support of our general partner Rosneft.”

Roy Baker, President of the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, also weighed in.

“Again we make history for our sport and this is a memorable day for our entire community and an inspiration to continue to develop our sport within the Olympic family of sports. Today I am grateful to President Bach for his continued support and to the members of the IOC for the confidence in bringing us into the Olympic family of sports.

“As a leader of the organization, I simply needed a boost like this to continue to drive our sport ensuring it has a sustainable future amongst the combat sports within the Olympic family. Thank you to everybody in our organization who has contributed. Thank you to the IOC Members who have accepted us, to the IOC Sports Department and to the IOC Executive Board and its President, Thomas Bach, for having understood our sport and recommended us.”

Do you think we’ll ever see MMA in the Olympics?