First woman to win Olympic boxing title
‘I went into boxing and I’m bisexual and I still achieved and performed at the highest level and I came away with gold and made history so with that said, anything is possible.’
Nicola Adams is a British professional boxer. She was the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title. She won Gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games, in the women’s flyweight division. She was the first out LGBT+ person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal.
During the gold medal fight, all she could hear was the sound of people shouting her name. It gave her the energy to win. To celebrate she went to Nando’s for a medium chicken in pitta and chips. She likes being normal Nicky, walking her dog and doing normal day-to-day things. She just hoped she had made the country proud.
2012 was a great year for Adams. The Independent on Sunday newspaper named her the most influential LGBT+ person in Britain. She was the first female boxer to get an award from the Boxing Writers’ Club of Great Britain. The club awarded her the Joe Bromley Award for outstanding services to boxing. She was also the first woman to go to the club’s awards ceremony. She was nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Leeds, her home town, celebrated her gold medal with a gold painted post box in the city centre.
Adams has always been open about her bisexuality, and never had a usual ‘coming out’ experience. She only came out because the public didn’t know. She says she was lucky that nobody was ever bad about her sexuality: ‘Racism, yes. Sexism, yes, in boxing – people saying women shouldn’t box. I’ve never come across homophobia.’
The ‘Nicola Adams’ effect is clear. She has broken down the barrier to women in the male world of boxing. She says, ’It’s nice to think I can inspire young girls to take up sport.’ Many women have now started boxing training. But Adams is sure the fight is not over. She wants her Games legacy to continue to encourage the Olympic stars of the future. She also wants young men and women to keep fit and stay healthy through sport. She hopes to see more women’s sport on TV. She wants people to know it’s perfectly normal for women to take part and get all hot and sweaty in whatever sport they’re doing.
She is modest about her influence over the sport. She is almost shy at home, compared with her toughness in the ring. Adams doesn’t need to act ‘macho’ when out in public. She is just herself. That attitude has won her and the sport many admirers.
At the 2016 Rio Olympic games Adams became the first female boxer to successfully defend an Olympic title. She was also the first British boxer to defend an Olympic title in 92 years.
Voices and Visibility 2019