The night of August 12, 2012 signified the end of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. The XXX Olympiad did not fall short of exciting moments, records were broken in various sports, rivalries were tested, and athletic prowess and dominance was showcased. But what sets these Olympic Games apart from the others is that for the first time since the inception of the Olympics in 1896 the International Olympic Committee permitted women to compete in boxing. Women’s Olympic Boxing is divided into three weight classes: flyweight, light weight, and middle weight, consisting of four rounds lasting two minutes each.
So the question you’re probably asking yourself is: why does women’s boxing matter?
Before I answer this question, I want to point out that I am in fact a young woman and I do box and I have competed and won. Regardless, my gender no way biases me towards a hidden feminist agenda. Simply put women’s boxing matter’s because people must understand that sports, not just boxing, should be not only be gender blind, but also color blind and age blind. Skill and what you bring to the court, field, or in this case the ring should be a representation of your character and commitment to the sport. Women, like men, have proven themselves capable of proudly representing our country and th
e sport of boxing in the London 2012 Olympics. All three American women, Marlen Esparza, Queen Underwood, and Claressa Shields, qualified for the games with Marlen Esparza bringing home a bronze medal in the flyweight division and Claressa Shields bringing home the United States’ first medal in women’s boxing history in the middle weight division. 29 Olympic Games and 116 years later, for the first time female boxers can finally showcase their skill to an unprecedented large scale audience. Professional women’s boxing does exist but it does not garner the international attention and media coverage women’s Olympic boxing does.
What distinguishes women’s amateur boxing from men’s amateur boxing is not the rules or the disparity in the number of weight classes (in the Olympics there are 10 weight classes for men versus the 3 weight classes for women) or their gender but it is their struggle to prove that women’s boxing is a serious sport that should not be taken lightly. Women’s boxing brings a breath of fresh air to the sport, especially when the United States’ men’s boxing team could barely medal in their weight classes (don’t believe me check out this article http://sports.yahoo.com/news/us-mens-boxing-disappoints-olympic-050549837–oly.html). Women’s boxing matters because like all sports it showcases talent, determination, and tenacity, qualities that are not exclusive to one gender, age group, or race. After the debut and success of the American women’s boxing team, amateur boxing for women is going to have a bright future.