Boxing Toward the Olympics

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, 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 Greene 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 
Sanda Htyte - Video editing
Lisa Polen - Web Production
Karen Frillmann - Editor
Indira Etwaroo - Greene Space Executive Producer
Kathleen Ehrlich - WNYC's Director of Digital Content 


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