Ms. Lyn’s address was followed by some short words of congratulations from representatives of UNWomen and UNESCO. Muaythai legendary athlete Buakaw Banchamek was also in attendance walking in the UNwomen flag has muaythai’s HeForShe Ambassador.
Last but not least, the IFMA General Secretary, SportAccord Vice President and AIMS President Stephan Fox was invited to the podium. He started first by thanking all those that had the vision for muaythai; the former IFMA Presidents Mr. Boonyuen and General Vorayudh. He expressed gratitude to what he called the “Old Guard” of Muaythai and thanked former Privy Councillor General Pichitr Kullavanijaya, WMC President General Chetta Thanajaro, IFMA President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan and IFMA Treasurer Mr. Kajorn Prowsree. He noted the presence of the various embassies that honoured IFMA by their presence at the Press Conference.
He explained how IFMA’s IOC recognition was not an overnight success, but has been a learning process in which the IFMA had the opportunity to grow, develop and rise to its potential. He said “it is also about knowledge sharing, recognising the expertise of others and being a part of recognised sport; working towards credibility and for the betterment of society”. He stressed the importance of the various alliances that IFMA made within the world sport community like those made with SportAccord lead by Patrick Baumann (IOC member), ARISF President Rafaelle Chiulli, AIOWF President Gian Franco Kasper (IOC EB member), IWGA President Jose Perurena (IOC member), United World Wrestling President and IOC Member Nenad Lalovic and so many others … all of whom supported and guided IFMA through the journey.
He then thanked the various partner organisations’ Presidents like HSH Prince Albert II of P&S and Joel Bouzou of WOA, HRH Prince Feisal of Generations for Peace, Oleg Matysin and Eric Saintrond of FISU and Sheikh Al Sabah of the OCA noting that the OCA was the first organisation within the Olympic movement to recognise IFMA in 2006. He concluded by thanking the IOC President Dr. Bach for his vision and credibility in the world of sport the IOC Executive board for thier trust in IFMA; the IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and the IOC Sports Department Kit McConnell, Jennifer Mann and Mike Joyce for their transparency and professionalism in the application process. Last but not least, he thanked the heart and soul of IFMA…. The athletes.