Men have boxed in the Olympic games since the ancient Greeks adopted the sport more than two thousand years ago. Women, never. That changes this year, when women enter the Olympic boxing ring for the first time.
The Women Box series follows female Olympic boxing contenders on their journey to the London games. The stories explore aggression and desire in the lives of girls; what turns a woman into a fighter; and what it takes to make a female champion.
The Long Road
It has taken decades of activism and lawsuits for women to break into the amateur boxing world. This summer women's boxing will make its debut at the Games in London. For the women who are aiming to make history, there is still a long road ahead. Twenty four Olympic hopefuls will compete in February outside of Spokane, WA, for a berth on the US team. Three will make it.
And that’s not all. To make it all the way to the Olympics, those three women will have to compete with contenders from around the world at the 2012 Women's World Championship in Qinhuangdao, China. Only the top eight women in each weight class will have a chance to showcase their talent, skill and determination in the 2012 Olympic games.
Follow The Fighters
Follow along as we continue to update their stories here and at nytimes.com, npr.org and through Twitter, Facebook and podcasts during the month of February. Join us at The Greene Space on February 10 for a conversation about women boxers with Rosie Perez, a 16 year old Olympic hopeful and a four-time world champion.
Photo by Sue Jaye Johnson
WOMEN BOX: Fighting to Make History is a collaboration of WNYC, NPR, The New York Times, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.
Sue Jaye Johnson: Producer and Photojournalist
Marianne McCune: Producer and Radio Reporter
Ann Heppermann: Audio Editing
Emily Botein: Audio Editing
Joe Richman and Samara Freemark/Radio Diaries: Audio Editing
Lisa Polen: Web Production
Karen Frillmann: Editor
Indira Etwaroo: Executive Producer, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
Kathleen Ehrlich: Director of Digital Content, WNYC
Elizabeth Zagroba: Quality Assurance Manager, New York Public Radio