Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Olympics Set for Boston 2024? Equality for women by 2020? Championships
by Michael O'Neill
January 10, 2015

(JAN 10) Women boxers’ first official appearance in the Olympic Games came in London 2012 with Marlen Esparza becoming the first U.S female to win a bout and a medal and later, on finals day Flint’s Claressa Shields struck gold in the up to 75kg category whilst Great Britain’s Nicola Adams and Ireland’s Katie Taylor took the other two Olympic Golds on offer in that momentous year for women's boxing.

I well remember that quarter-final bout in which the then 23 years old Esparza comprehensively defeated Venezuela’s Karlha Magliocco in the flyweight division thus assuring herself of bronze, though she was to lose in the semi-final against then world elite champion China’s Cancan Ren. Whatever happens she will always have the honor of being the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic boxing medal - and well deserved too.

Remember that though women's boxing first appeared in the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1904 it was banned in most nations, including the USA and UK, for most of the 20th century.

Long before 2024 we will have the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2020 event in Tokyo so much too early yet to look at what might happen IF Boston does get the nomination over Rome, Paris or possibly cities in Germany or South Africa which may yet enter the bidding but we now know that Boston has been nominated by USOC as the official United States entry for this prestigious event. This is how USOC broke the news:

“Boston will represent the United States in its bid for the opportunity to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the United States Olympic Committee has announced. The decision followed a spirited discussion and more than one round of voting. Ultimately, the Boston bid received the unanimous endorsement of the USOC’s board of directors.

The announcement followed final presentations from representatives from each of the four cities in December 2014. The 22-month domestic evaluation process began with outreach to approximately 35 U.S. cities and six months of collaborative discussions with the four finalists regarding the technical elements required to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We’re excited about our plans to submit a bid for the 2024 Games and feel we have an incredibly strong partner in Boston that will work with us to present a compelling bid,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst. “We’re grateful to the leaders in each of the four cities for their partnership and interest in hosting the most exciting sports competition on earth. The deliberative and collaborative process that we put in place for selecting a city has resulted in a strong U.S. bid that can truly serve the athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

The International Olympic Committee’s deadline for 2024 bid submissions is Sept. 15, 2015, with the host city to be determined in 2017. The timeline for the 2024 bidding process was announced during the IOC Extraordinary Session in early December, during which time Olympic Agenda 2020 was finalized. Among the 40 recommendations – which were unanimously approved – the reform package allows for a more flexible and cost-effective bidding process.

“Today’s decision begins the next phase in our 2024 bid campaign, and we couldn’t be more excited about the partnership we’ve established with the leadership team in Boston,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “This bid uniquely combines an exciting, athlete-focused concept for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Boston’s existing long-term vision. We look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and the Boston 2024 team to fully engage with the local community and identify ways we can make the bid even better.”

"It is an exceptional honor for Boston to be chosen as the U.S. representative in the running for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “This selection is in recognition of our city's talent, diversity and global leadership. Our goal is to host Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all. Boston hopes to welcome the world's greatest athletes to one of the world's great cities."

“Today’s selection by the USOC is the beginning of an incredible opportunity for Boston,” said Boston 2024 Chairman John Fish. “This bid has already provided our many educational institutions, community and business leaders, and elected officials a unique opportunity to collaborate like never before to promote our city to the world. Going forward, Boston 2024 is committed to a thorough and extensive process to discuss the potential opportunity the Olympic and Paralympic Games present our community. Boston is a global hub for education, health care, research and technology. We are passionate about sports because we believe in the power of sport to transform our city and inspire the world’s youth. A Boston Games can be one of the most innovative, sustainable and exciting in history and will inspire the next generation of leaders here and around the world.”

Under the new structure, the IOC will meet with representatives from each applicant city from Oct. 7-9, 2015, in Lausanne, Switzerland, to establish rules and procedures for the international bidding campaign. Cities will then have until Jan. 8, 2016, to submit final bids to the IOC.

“The Olympic Games are unique in their ability to bring the world together in celebration and unity,” said IOC Executive Board Member Anita DeFrantz. “I very much want to bring the Games to the United States to share the incredible spirit of the Games with another generation of Americans, and advance the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

“The United States has something unique to offer the athletes of the world and the Olympic and Paralympic movements as a whole,” said IOC Member Angela Ruggiero. “I couldn’t be more excited to share Boston’s athlete-focused vision for the Games with my IOC colleagues.”

This was a sentiment echoed by the White House and President Obama. “The city has taught all of us what it means to be Boston Strong,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. “The President and First Lady couldn't be prouder of this accomplishment and of all of our nation's athletes, and strongly support the effort to bring the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the United States. We hope to welcome athletes from around the globe to compete in Boston in 2024.”

As we said earlier much too soon to be discussing the 2024 Games but above all let us hope and pray that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) will have got their act together and that there will be TRUE EQUALITY for women’s boxers long before then. Be sure that WBAN will be keeping a close watch on the situation until such equality is finally achieved hopefully not later than 2020.

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