First ever Olympic medal for women’s boxing has Caribbean – but notably not Cuban – touch

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for sending this post.

In an article for Reuters that is euphoric about women’s boxing at the London Olympics, Patrick Johnston and Padraic Halpin also mention that “the great amateur boxing nation Cuba . . . refused to send fighters” to this new and highly successful Olympic event. (Full article at

The addition of women’s boxing to the Olympic program means that all Olympic sports now have both female and male competitors. But when the International Olympic Committee announced in August 2009 that women’s boxing would make its Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games, the president of the Cuban boxing federation, Jose Barrientos, declared: “We have no plans at the moment to participate in any international events because we don’t think the sport is appropriate for women.” Pedro Roque, a top coach of male Cuban boxers, added: “Cuban women should be showing off their beautiful faces, not getting punched in the face.”(Source

Thirty-six athletes competed in women’s boxing at the London Olympics, representing the following 22 countries: Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tunisia, USA, and Venezuela.

The Caribbean region’s lone representative, Karlha Magliocco, who competed in the flyweight category for Venezuela, won her first-round match but could not advance beyond the quarterfinals.

Great Britain’s Nicola Adams, who on August 9, 2012 officially became the first women in history to win an Olympic boxing medal, was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and has Caribbean roots. According to an article by the London Evening Standard, the 29-year-old flyweight gold medalist “loves a roast, or macaroni cheese, or rice and peas from the Caribbean side of her family – she has aunts and uncles in St Martin and St Kitts and Nevis supporting her Olympic bid.” (Source:–the-dedication-determination-and-sacrifice-to-make-a-champion-and-that-is-just-her-mother-8025977.html). Her family celebrated her gold medal in the Caribbean-themed Lime Bar in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. Source:

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