Thailand at the Olympics

A powerhouse in sports in the South East Asia, Thailand made its maiden appearance at the Summer Olympic Games in 1952 and has participated in the Olympics from then on except when they joined the US-spearheaded boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.

The nation’s first Olympic medal winner was Pooyao Poontrat who won bronze in the men’s lightweight category in boxing at the 1976 Montreal Games. Another boxer Somluck Kamsing became the first ever Thai athlete to win a gold medal in the Olympics by winning the men’s featherweight division in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The 2004 Athens Olympic Games is perhaps to be the most unforgettable and sweetest Olympiad for Thailand as it won eight medals including three gold. The nation already made its presence felt at the Olympics in several sport disciplines such as boxing, weightlifting and even taekwondo.

Udomporn Polsak became the first ever Thai female Olympic gold medalist by snatching the gold medal in the women’s 53-kg category in weightlifting to become an instant hero in her motherland. Her exploits was immediately followed up by Pavina Thongsuk who also grabbed a gold medal in weightlifting.

Thailand is also a seven-time overall winner of the South East Asian Games and an emerging force in the Asian Games.

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