This weekend, Rowan Walker wrote in the Observer of her torturous but strangely addictive experience of training at the Islington Boxing Gym to raise awareness of the fierce campaign to get female boxing recognised as an Olympic Sport for the 2012 Games in London.
According to the International Olympic Committee, “Boxing ranks among the Olympic Games’ most illustrious sports” yet only for men, to date. As Walker’s article indicates, the number and calibre of female contenders is rising since the British Boxing Board of Control was forced to “take on the responsibility of” licensing them to fight in the UK in 1998. Laid low by gender stereotypes and social taboos, female boxing has come a long way, what with the Women’s Boxing Championships taking place in Chicago this weekend and the IOC Chairman being there to witness it.
We’re pretty sure that boxing is the last bastion of Olympic gender discrimination. OK, women were excluded from the original Olympics but times have changed mightily since then. We’re pretty sure if the women got naked like the young Athenian boys used to, things might be different (for all the wrong reasons).
Image courtesy of george.rippon’s Flickrstream