May 05, 2011

Ojibwe woman aims for Olympic boxing

Ojibwe Woman Part of Inaugural Women’s Olympic Boxing

By Sam LaskarisAt any time of the day one might find Mary Spencer shadow-boxing and then pumping her arms in the air. “I do it constantly,” said Spencer, a 26-year-old aboriginal boxer who lives in Tecumseh, a suburb of Windsor, Ontario. “I’m pretending I just won a gold medal.”

By next summer, Spencer, an Ojibwe originally from the Cape Croker First Nation near Wiarton, Ontario may not have to pretend any more, because she is picked to win a medal—possibly even a gold—when women’s boxing makes its Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games. Spencer already has a rather impressive résumé: She has won three world championships and is the defending International Amateur Boxing Association women’s world champion in the 75-kilogram (165 pounds) division. She won a pair of world crowns in the 66-kilogram division, in Russia in 2005 and in China in 2008, but decided to put on some weight when the International Olympic Committee added just three weight classes—51, 60 and 75 kilograms—at the London Olympics.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see First Aboriginal Women in Winter Olympics and Navajo Woman Boxer.

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