Think of Thailand’s medal history at the summer Olympic Games and there are two sports that the Kingdom has done better in than any other sports; boxing and weightlifting.
It was at the Beijing 2008 Games that Somjit Jongjohor won a gold medal in the Flyweight division, while Pra pawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon, who apart from having the longest name of any Olympic champion, lifted her way to a gold medal in the Women’s 53 kg weightlifting competition.
Somjit won a gold medal for boxing, but he is also a fan of Muay Thai.
They returned to Thailand as superstars and while Somjit moved into the world of entertainment and became a well known actor, Prapawadee joined the armed forces, but both became brand ambassadors for Siam Sport, Thailand’s largest sports media company.
Both recently traveled to the Father Ray Foundation to donate sporting equipment to the students with disabilities at the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities.
The blind students were very excited to be meeting their hero.
There they met the children and students from the projects managed by the Father Ray Foundation. They were entertained with a traditional dance routine from the young girls, the special needs children hosted a magic show and the boys from the Children’s Home gave an exhibition of Muay Thai.
Prapawadee was very happy to meet a fellow weightlifter, Prakit Thongsang, a wheelchair user who has traveled the world representing the Kingdom, and bringing home a large haul of medals.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the children and students to meet two professional athletes, and to hear from two ordinary people whose hard work and dedication has earned them rewards that are in the reach of everyone.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]
Olympic weightlifting gold medal winner Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon is happy to sign an autograph.
Prapawadee meets Prakit Thongsang, a fellow gold medal weightlifter.
Somjit meets a fan.
The sporting heroes watched an exhibition of Muay Thai.
The young dancers from the Father Ray Children’s Village.