THANK YOU TO MY WONDERFUL DONORS FOR PUTTING ME OVER MY MINIMUM! My actual project costs will be about $3,500, so if you're thinking about donating, please do, as I can very much use help with hotel, food, and ground transportation costs. But I've got my plane ticket, so the hardest part is done!
This is the first year that women's boxing is an Olympic sport. With its inclusion, the 2012 Summer Games will be the first in history to have gender parity! I've been honored to follow the US women as they vie for spots in the Olympic ring.
The AIBA Women's World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China this May will determine which 36 women from around the world advance to compete in London. The US has three strong contenders in our Olympic Trials winners: middleweight Claressa Shields (the 16-yr-old phenom from Flint, Michigan), lightweight Queen Underwood (soulful survivor and moral center of the team), and flyweight Marlen Esparza (the cocky boxer-puncher), but these three will face tough competition from countries with outstanding women's programs, including China, Korea, Canada, Russia, and Poland.
I'll spend my time in China interviewing the fighters, trainers and local characters. I'll attend all the fights and watch the teams train. My daily blog updates will capture the narratives both inside and outside the ring. I did this recently from the US Olympic Trials in Spokane via the Huffington Post:
I'll also work the material into a longer essay for the Threepenny Review that examines issues of gender in boxing, including the controversial issue of what women should wear in the ring. I'm hoping to follow the team to London as well.
I've gotten my nose bloodied in Madison Square Garden, my clock cleaned in Montreal, and I've briefly been the amateur featherweight champion of New York, all of which makes me uniquely qualified to document this historic moment. The great AJ Liebling wrote, "A boxer, like a writer, must stand alone." But this writer needs your help.
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