NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There is one sport at the Summer Olympics that women have never been able to participate in – boxing. But, the door will open for them in 2012 and several North Texans hope to make the team.
Giselle Gomez has dreams of one day ‘bringing home the gold’, and someone is watching her every move while she tries. Despite being only 8-years-old, Giselle hopes to one day box her way to the Olympics.
The little girl says she remembers wanting to box when she was just six-years-old. “Because at first, I saw my brother, Pee Wee, box,” Giselle explained.
Thinking she could do better, Giselle asked her father to let her into the ring. “He said it was too dangerous,” Giselle remembers. “I was, like, unh unh. No, it ain’t!”
Now, her father is one of her strongest supporters, even allowing an occasional workout in the ring with her brother Pee Wee.
On this day, Giselle grew tired in round three. She’ll have to go many more rounds to reach her goal. “I’d really like going to the Olympics and fighting for the states,” she said.
Rachel Juarez and her husband co-own the Fort Worth Boxing club. “I think she has a lot of potential,” she said of Giselle.
In fact, Rachel thinks Giselle reminds her of her own daughter. “It’s just like a little flashback from the past.”
Rachel’s daughter, Vanessa Juarez, started boxing when she was eight too. Vanessa fought her way to the Women’s World Championship. Today she says there’s only one achievement she lacked. “I wanted to be one of the first females to ever make it in The Olympics,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa did make the Olympic Team twice, when the committee said it would accept women’s boxing into the games. But when they failed to follow through, Vanessa turned pro.
“De La Hoya, he had told me ‘Why are you boxing? You’re too pretty.’ And I told him, ‘You have a pretty face and you’re good.’ And he just laughed, ‘Oh I guess you got a point’,” she said.
The latest achievement for Vanessa, now 22-years-old, is her son, Jovane Alvarez, born last November. “I love him. And, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” Vanessa said with tears beginning to fall.
The new mother says she doesn’t know if she’ll ever return to the ring, but Women’s Boxing is back on the Olympic schedule for 2012.
“They might not do it again. But I really hope they do,” Vanessa said hopefully. “There’s females out there in boxing that are just as good If not better than the guys.”
Allana Huggins quit boxing four years ago, after a disappointing loss. “I felt like I got robbed,” she said.
She’s now returning to the ring and is going to give the first ever Women’s Olympic Boxing Competition her best shot. “Something inside me was like, this is your chance,” she said.
Allana will need to lose 31 pounds. She’s already lost 34. “I got big. And it [the weight] doesn’t come off easy,” she said.
These days Allana trains 4 ½ to five hours a day and her goal is to bump that up to six hours.
Having won many belts and medals, Allana already knows what it takes to become a champion. She’s just looking forward to her return to competition.
“There’s nothing like walking to the ring and hearing people screaming your name and it’s just you. It’s just a moment to shine,” she said.
For Allana now is the time. In four more years, on the cusp of the 2016 Olympics, she will be 29. “What if I want to have kids? What if I want to start a family, a career?” she asked. “I need to do it now while I don’t have any of that.”
There are those people who never thought Women’s Boxing would make it to the Olympics. Then, there were those women who hoped.
Female boxers will have this year to qualify for the Olympic Team. If the committee indeed accepts women’s boxing into the games, they compete in the 2012 Olympics, being held in London.