Women’s boxing to be included in 2012 Olympics

The president of the International Olympics Committee announced yesterday that women’s boxing is going to added to the 2012 Olympics in London.
While I’m thrilled about this news, I just don’t understand why women ski jumpers have had to struggle so hard to get a spot in the Olympics over the last several years. In fact, a group of women ski jumpers are set to appeal in court in November to the decision made not allowing them to participate in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. You can sign their petition here.
(Random disclosure: I know the woman in the pic on the left, Alicia “Slick” Ashley, and she rocks the house. She volunteered for GGE when I was there, teaching our girls how to box; as a 5’5” world champ, she made me all the more sure that smaller women can kick ass too. Awesome.)

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  1. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    British boxer Amir Khan said that he’s against women boxing, claiming that women will “get hurt.” OH NO SHIT?!?! if you enter the boxing ring, you’ll get hurt?!?! What a dumbass.
    I’m a boxer (not professionally, though) and this is great news.

  2. Audrey
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    For years I heard that women couldn;t get into olympic boxing or that boxing couldn;t get it because it was a “brutal” sport. Yehaw that’
    s changed!

  3. Spiffy McBang
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I know progress in the Olympics moves at a glacial pace, so this is completely unrealistic, but I really wish it was MMA instead.
    Better boxing than nothing, I suppose. But of all combat sports, boxing is probably the one least likely to make those skeptical about women fighting change their minds.

  4. lowercasejae
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    While I appreciate the inclusion of Women’s Boxing in the 2012 Olympics, it should be noted that it is at the exclusion of softball, which has been axed through 2016 at the minimum.
    http://usasoftball.com/news.asp?uid=5277 has more information, as does ESPN (though I am loathe to link any article from their site). I tried to get a link from the official Olympics site (olympic.org), but it appears to be down.

  5. BruceJ
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    One hand giveth, the other taketh away…they eliminated of womens softball.
    Quite frankly, I think softball is a heckuva better role model than boxing, male or female.
    Punching other people in the head doesn’t really teach you anything but punching other people in the head.
    (Disclosure: I come from Tucson, AZ, which is crazy about softball, as the UA’s team consistently gets into the National Championship Series, (8 National Championships) and whose coach lead the US to gold in the Olympics)

  6. Burb
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    “Punching other people in the head doesn’t really teach you anything but punching other people in the head.”
    Have you ever boxed? It’s a very complicated sport. They don’t call it the “Sweet Science” for nothing. There’s a lot to think about, all the while you’re needing to keep your cool so you do not make mistakes. If boxing is just punching people in the head, then soccer is just kicking a ball, wrestling is just rolling around and fencing is just waving a piece of metal around.
    Not to mention that olympic/amateur boxing is points-based, only three rounds, with more protection and big gloves. It hardly resembles the relative brutality of pro boxing.

  7. gal16
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Wow this really gives me hope that maybe other contact sports will start to open up to women. It would definitely make my life easier =]

  8. gal16
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Frankly I find it insulting that you think boxing is a bad role model for girls and young women. As an ex-softball player and current FEMALE wrestler for my high school I can not understand how you do not know the full reason for the softball exclusion. It is merely suspended until the rest of the world catches up to the American team , which has dominated do to limited appeal in other nations. I feel like boxing and all contact sports make fine examples for young women and girls and I just wish more would be openly accepted to the Olympics.

    Posted August 15, 2009 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Why not both women’s boxing and women’s MMA?

    Posted August 15, 2009 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    There’s more to boxing than just punching people in the head – it’s a sport that teaches strategy and involves a great deal of conditioning and physical fitness.
    And as for the fighting part – what’s wrong with that?
    I think we’d have a much better world if more women knew how to defend themselves physically – and that is one of the skills that boxing teaches you.

  11. AndersH
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I think I should point out that that picture is of professional boxing, and that what they do in the Olympics is amateur boxing.
    I think they’re different enough to make a distinction (I do rather see amateur boxing as a sport, and pro boxing and MMA as gladiatorial games).

  12. A male
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Actually the Japan women’s softball team can place first or second in world level competition in the 2000s, and got medals in each of the 2000s Olympics, with gold in 2008.
    The Japan women’s baseball team is also ranked number one in the world, and has done so a number of years. Yes, ahead of the US.

  13. A male
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Sorry, my point being, here is a lost medal opportunity for Japan. While living in Japan, Japanese media will present how sports or sports rules are changed, and allege it is done to deprive Japan of medals. They appeared most upset about Judo and Ski Jumping, and how rule changes have benefitted Europeans, while rule changes were apparently in direct response to Japanese success in the sports at the time.

  14. trex
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    i can’t remember if it was NPR or BBC radio that i heard this news from, but the sound clip came from a uk woman boxer saying “it’s not about equality, it’s about fairness” which melted my brains a little bit. can’t get the women’s boxing world all mixed up in feminism, right? but all in all, good news, i suppose.

  15. BitterBitch
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    MMA isn’t an official Olympic sport.

  16. False Prophet
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    On a related note, did anyone else catch the Gina Carano vs. “Cyborg” Santos match yesterday? Here it is on YouTube (let’s hope it stays up a bit). Santos definitely lives up to her name: she’s a machine! She takes a cross to the chin and keeps going!

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