WAKO President Roy Baker believes kickboxing is “destined” to appear at the Olympics ©Getty Images
World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) President Roy Baker said he believes the sport is “destined” to appear at the Olympic Games after missing out on a place at Los Angeles 2028.
The sport was one of nine in the frame to be proposed for the LA programme but baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse and squash have been chosen by local organisers.
These sports are all set to be confirmed at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai which begins on Sunday (October 15).
As well as kickboxing, breaking, karate and motorsport have all missed out.
Kickboxing has never featured at the Olympics or Youth Olympics and Baker said that just being in the frame for Los Angeles was a reason to be positive.
WAKO was given full recognition by the IOC in 2021 and featured at the European Games in Poland this year.
“We were naturally disappointed not to be selected for LA28,” he told insidethegames.
“However, we take immense pride and positive energy in the fact that kickboxing, being a relatively young Olympic sport, was shortlisted so quickly.
“This serves as a testament to the sport’s evolution over the past 20 years, thanks to its growing participation levels and increased media presence on a global scale, alongside the growth of our national federations in every continent.
“They and my Board are always focused on delivering opportunities for our athletes who we exist for.
Kickboxing missed out on LA 2028 with breaking, karate and motorsport ©Getty Images
“In fact, the two-year process was a valuable learning experience for us, which will undoubtedly better prepare us for future opportunities.”
Baker congratulated the successful sports and offered sympathies to the others which missed out.
“My team and I firmly believe that kickboxing is one of the most dynamic, exciting and modern combat sports in the world, destined to rightfully take its place at the Summer Games in the future,” he added.
“In the meantime, our focus remains on the upcoming World Combat Games and the 2023 Kickboxing World Championships in Portugal this November, where over 1,600 kickboxers will converge in this biannual event.
“As a sport, we embody a positive mindset and an unwavering commitment to progress, always moving forward with enthusiasm and dedication.
“This is the true essence and spirit of kickboxing.”
After choosing its five sports, LA 2028 chief executive Kathy Carter said they had put forward a “bold and balanced proposal that will energise the Games with culturally relevant competition and boundless possibility”.
By Dan Palmer
Shuaeeb Is a seasoned sportswriter, social worker, and philanthropist. He has been renowned for his support of disabled sports persons and championing for equal rights and opportunities for all sports persons. He is also a father of 4 children and married to His partner Moana who is of Australian descent. He currently does sports volunteering and disability support work aside from writing for this August media.