Olympics-level “sports” Thais would dominate


The Olympics, which is arguably one of the world’s leading sports events, was originally invented by the Greeks. Every four years, fans from all over the globe gather around and cheer for their national athletes. 

Thailand’s Olympic team is achieving unreal feats. Although, imagine just how many more medals they’d win if they competed in sports based on everyday struggles Thais go through.

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1. Motorcycle steeple chase 


Motorcycles are just about as ubiquitous as people in Thailand. Not only are they seen on just about every street, but they’re sometimes even spotted on sidewalks. 


These talented drivers can be seen racing through – sometimes oncoming -traffic while seamlessly changing lanes.
Image credit: Mad Bike 

Whether they’re traveling 10M to the neighbourhood store or multiple kilometres to other parts of the city, Thailand’s motorcyclists seem to constantly be in an agility race where the cars – and people – are the obstacles. 

thai-olympic-sports
GIF: Let’s Ride and get Thai


2. 10M sprint to the cashier 


While sharing a meal with our loved ones is indeed a pleasant event for Thais, the best part is taking care of the bill f0r them. 

Once that check lands on the table, it’s on. What starts out as a friendly exchange of “No, I insist” can sometimes end with one – or both – parties grabbing the bill and sprinting towards the cashier. 

thai-olympic-sports
GIF: Off the Great Wall

While the one who pays the bill is the “medalist”, you get bonus points if you have to jump over hurdles – other tables and customers – on your way to the finish line. 


3. Sidesaddle equestrian


While motorcycle drivers’ skills remind us of steeple chase competitors, we can’t forget about the passengers.

thai-olympic-sports
Image credit: Jorge Silva for Reuters via PRI

Holding onto a motorcycle that is going at unreal speeds is already a feat in itself. So imagine how strong these passengers are to be to be able to stay on these metal horses side-saddle. 

Bonus points if they’re simultaneously texting or smoking a cigarette.


4. Greng jai kata


Greng jai is a way of life for Thais. The term basically translates to “consideration for others”, but the actual practice is more like “performing mental gymnastics to avoid troubling the other person at all costs.” 

So, when there’s an issue, we tend to avoid confronting it. Instead, we’ll just continuously and politely say mai pen rai, which translates to “no worries”. 

maipenrai
GIF: thai766

Sometimes we’ll even show you just how un-worried we are. Demonstrating our discipline, while also avoiding direct confrontation, is similar to the Olympic’s Karate Kata event. 


5. “Defending” public entrances and exits 


Getting around Bangkok can be tedious; not only because of cars, but also due to the crowds of people. 

elevator
Image credit: Stories by Soumya

It seems that people here have managed to perfect their stances when defending their spots in public spaces. Spectators can enjoy live demonstrations in public trains, elevators, and even mall entrances. 

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GIF: SOUTH EAST ASIA GOING ASTRAY


6. Endurance category: staying in your car 


This is the endurance event that all Thais will excel at. Whether it’s driving to a restaurant just 400M from your soi or cruising into Sukhumvit, we really don’t know how long it’ll take. 

Driving short distances can take anywhere between 5-40 minutes, depending on the traffic. Taking the expressway across different towns during rush hour, however, can take anywhere between one-three hours – maybe even four when it’s raining.    

traffic
Image credit: Terje Borge

So, sitting in traffic is a test of the mind. Similar to how athletes can run for 10KM on a track, and have trained to endure the distance under multiple circumstances, Thais can sit in their cars for indefinite periods of time. 


Image credit: tk driving school team


Thai Olympic sports in daily routines


It seems that Thailand is teeming with medal-winning olympic competitors, it’s just that the “sports” we excel in haven’t been recognised by the International Olympic committee just yet. 

In all seriousness though, there are so many talented athletes in Thailand who have yet to realise their own potential. We hope athletes like Thailand’s first Taekwondo gold medalist, Tennis, will spark other citizens to explore their talents. 


Cover image adapted from: Motorbike Rent Bangkok (Left), Off the Great Wall (Right)

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