NicolaAdams (1)

A Leeds based boxer has become the first female boxer in the UK to scoop a gold medal for the Olympics.

In a match watched by millions of people across the UK including David Cameron and Kate Middleton, Nicola Adams, 29 secured yet another victory for Great Britain after beating her opponent Ren Cancan.

Nicola grew up in the Burmantofts area of Leeds fought and won her first bout at age 13, and in 2001 she became the first woman boxer ever to represent England in a fight against an Irish boxer.

Throughout her career, she has battled for female boxers to gain more recognition among the sporting elite who were sceptical of female boxers. Even today, some commentators still maintain they dislike the idea of women competing in the ring.

For there are many who still associate boxing with violence, which doesn’t quite fit the gentle, “sugar and spice and all things nice” image that people have of women.


But neither boxing nor martial arts are designed to encourage or promote violence or aggression. In fact, many critics have attributed Nicola’s unique precise and controlled style as a key factor which helped her to secure her win.

Many who know Nicola personally have described her as a sweetheart whose skillset becomes apparent once she steps into the ring.

With three silver medals already under her belt before competing in the Games, she played a significant role in getting women’s boxing added to the Games, not least because she was the first female to box for England, even after a fall from a flight of stairs almost prevented her from doing so.

Adams struggled to continue her boxing career due to lack of funds. She worked as an extra on soaps such as Coronation Street and EastEnders and worked as a builder before the International Olympic Committee backed funding for women’s boxing in 2009.

Now a fully funded and triumphant athlete, Nicola said: “I can’t believe I’ve actually done it. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was 12 years old. It’s a fairy tale ending for me.

“I had to wipe the tears back as I walked to the ring. It has been a very emotional experience. This really is going to be the biggest sporting moment of my life.

“The crowd and support has really lifted me throughout the tournament. I have to thank everyone for that – it really raised my performance. I gave my all out there in the final, and it is the best I have ever boxed. ”

She won by 16 points to seven. Her win was a far cry from her early days when she struggled to find an opponent to take her on due to a reluctance by sporting authorities to get behind women’s boxing.

But now after trailblazing an impressive round with her formidable opponent Cancan who is a three-time world champion from China, she has singlehandedly helped to demonstrate that boxing talent does not reside exclusively with male boxers.

As a youngster she was inspired by famous boxers such as Muhammad Ali and Frank Bruno.

Her historic win may well pave the way for many more young female boxers who are inspired by her performance at the Olympics.

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