Thailand seeks Olympic status for Muay Thai. GETTY IMAGES

Shinawatra Paetongtarn, the deputy chairman of Thailand's National Soft Power Strategy Committee, is pushing for Muay Thai to become an Olympic sport, the Bangkok Post reports.

Paetongtarn outlined her goals to strengthen Muay Thai's position as one of Thailand's soft power tools through various strategies, such as inclusion in the Olympics. "We will have the opportunity to cheer for Muay Thai boxers representing Thailand in the Olympics one day," the dirigent statted via Facebook. 

She and her team would try to make Muay Thai more popular among foreigners through other initiatives, such as introducing a ranking system similar to Taekwondo's belt ranking system. She also talked about ways to help Muay Thai teachers become more professional and how to promote more Muay Thai competitions at all levels. 

Srivikorn Pimol, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Sports Sub-Committee of the National Soft Power Strategy Committee, said the government has made significant progress in promoting Muay Thai as a soft power. As part of this, Pimol met with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt last week to discuss a plan to send Muay Thai teachers to a number of schools in Bangkok. 

He said the committee was also looking to organise a Muay Thai master class in England, which would allow foreigners to learn the martial art from internationally recognised Muay Thai masters, such as Rodtang Jitmuangnon, Buakaw Banchamek and Superbon Singha Mawynn for a full day in April. He said the masterclass would inspire people outside Thailand, prompting them to invite their friends to visit Thailand, which in turn would boost Thai tourism.