Making a Muay Thai Champion: Thailand

Muay Thai, a form of kickboxing, brings Thailand together in revelry and sport. Across the country, from cities to remote villages, people relish the excitement of this combat sport, as participants and spectators. The camps train young men and women at no cost, teaching them physical and mental discipline with the intent to produce a champion that will bring money and honor back to the camp. Like many poor villagers struggling to support their children, parents of Tiew, a 15-year-old fighter sent him to a camp in Bangkok to begin his Muay Thai career at age 6. After years of immersing himself fully in his training, Tiew returned to his place of birth on New Years to compete in the championships. This photo story won the second place in Sports Picture Story category of Picture of the Year International.