Imagine being a girl with a dream of being a boxer. And you follow that dream until you become a female boxer. But then, you realize that you will never get the chance to box at the Olympics, because you’re a girl. So you decide to fight. And eventually you win.
That’s was the feeling of female boxers across the globe when in 2009 the International Olympic Committee Executive Board announced that women's boxing (the only summer sport on the Olympic docket without a female counterpart) would be added to the schedule for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
“We are thrilled that the IOC Executive Committee has voted to add women's boxing events to the 2012 Olympic Program. The 'yes' vote means that female boxers will now be able to share in the dream of standing on the world's most prestigious sporting podium," said USA Boxing Women's Task Force Chair and AIBA Women's Commission member Christy Halbert. "It's a historic event, marking the first time that all of the summer Olympic sports will have female participants. The Olympic Games, will, from now on, truly showcase the world's best talent."
That was in 2009. Now it’s 2012 and those Olympic Games are just a few months away. The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is considering requiring female boxers to wear skirts. The reasoning behind this is so that the women will stand out from the men.
As if sitting down to watch Women’s Boxing might not be enough.
Adding women’s boxing to the Olympics sent a positive and incredible message to girls and young women everywhere, but if the AIBA does pass this rule and force these women to wear mini-skirts while fighting it all but diminishes that message.
"Boxing is mental, so if you go in there and you're not comfortable, it could mess with you," said Christina Cruz, who will be competing for the sole flyweight position on the U.S. women's Boxing team. "I think it should just be optional. We should be able to fight in whatever we're comfortable in. What they want to do is they want to be able to pick out the men from the women, because we are fighting like the men now. But when we take off that headgear, that's what makes us what we are."
Sit down with your SheHeroes and talk about why forcing these female boxers to wear skirts is silly. Then take a moment to look at these Olympic hopefuls and introduce your SheHero to these amazing women who are hoping to make their way to London this summer and into history.