“That’s what I like about boxing, because I can’t believe I can actually fight in the ring and think. When you beat somebody, you’re better than them. That’s what’s satisfying [to] me.”-Bertha Aracil
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Men have boxed in the Olympic games since the ancient Greeks adopted the sport more than two thousand years ago. Women, never.
That changes in 2012, when women enter the Olympic boxing ring for the first time. In February, 24 American women will compete for three spots on the team.
On Friday, February 10th at 7pm at the Greene Space: Host Rosie Perez will introduce for the first time a 16-year old girl from Flint, Michigan, whose mind is set on making history in the 2012 Olympics. Claressa Shields is the youngest woman competing for a spot on the team and, at the tournament that qualified her for the trials, she was named “Most Outstanding Boxer.” Her coach, Jason Crutchfield, saw her potential early on. “If any coach tells you they are in it to help the kids, don’t be fooled. Every coach wants a champion. I just never thought mine would be a girl.” The two will demonstrate Claressa’s boxing talents on stage.
Other guests include four-time world champion Alicia Ashley, who, with 15 years as a pro boxer, has wowed fans around the world and, yet, finds it hard to get a fight in the United States because women boxers don’t draw as much attention here; and accomplished amateur boxing champion Heather Hardy, a single-mom with high hopes she can make a living doing what she loves. Also featured: a look at Sue Jaye Johnson’s photo series following women boxers, in the New York Times Magazine.
Women Box explores why women fight and why we expect them not to. Are high heels and a deadly left hook contradictory? Are muscles masculine? Should women embrace a sport that some view as a wrong-headed male construction, celebrating violence, not strength? Should anyone box? These stories will embody sports-reporting at its best: journalism that challenges us to think about who we are and who we could or should be.
You can read more about women in boxing here!
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