OLYMPIC DREAMING – Boxing Ontario athlete Mary Spencer earns wildcard to compete at the upcoming London Olympics
June 18th, 2012
After a long wait, Mary Spencer has been given an opportunity on Monday to compete at the Olympics, after being given a wildcard spot at the Games in London. This followed an extended round of deliberation by the International Olympic Committee’s Tripartite Commission to receive the Americas’ lone wild card berth in the 75-kilogram weight class.
The IOC’s Tripartite Commission was able to choose one fighter of each weight category from each continent (with the exception of Oceania, which received none) to compete at the Games. The decision was initially expected earlier this month, but it was pushed back to Monday.
Just a like a true champion, Spencer spent her weekend in Montreal, where she won a two-fight exhibition series against Germany’s Andrea Strohemeir whom she defeated in two four-round bouts.
The three-time world champion will now enter the Games as somewhat of an underdog, however it’s unlikely to faze the Windsor based boxer. “The only thing better than winning Olympic gold would be winning gold after qualifying via wild card,” Spencer said after losing her first bout at the last world championship tournament last month.
“Even right (after losing), I felt I would be going to the Olympics,” she added. “I have that good feeling.”
But with the good news she’s happy to finally confirm her place at the Games.
“I feel stronger and even more focused right now,” she said in a statement. “The route to London was not as expected, but I feel I’ve learned a lot and I will take those lessons with me on the final leg of the journey.”
After Spencer’s elimination from the 2012 World Boxing Championships last month, Ireland’s four-time world 60kg champion Katie Taylor told the Irish Times it was important for women’s boxing that athletes like Spencer were able to compete at the Olympic Games.
“We need to showcase women’s boxing,” she explained.
Spencer is not only the new face of CoverGirl, but is featured in a splashy ad campaign from the Canadian Olympic Committee.
This can only enhance the image of women’s boxing as women’s boxing is making its Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games this summer. The women’s competition will kick off on August 5 with the gold-medal matches scheduled for August 9.
“I guarantee you, if Mary wins the Olympics, you’d show up at this gym and it’d be packed with people, with girls who wanted to box, or at least give it a try,” In February Spencer’s coach, Charlie Stewart, said during an interview inside his Windsor, Ont., Boxing club. “If Mary won a gold medal, there’d be some kind of parade in Windsor.”
For more information please contact:
Boxing Ontario, 3 Concorde Gate, Suite 202, Toronto Ontario, M3C 3N7.