Queen Underwood leaves the ring after winning her final round at the trials in Spokane, earning a spot on the USA's first women's Olympic boxing team. Photo by Jessica Robinson
A Northwest boxing gym will be rooting for its hometown favorite at an Olympic event never-before open to women. Boxing was the last all-male hold-out in the Olympics, until this year. Seattle’s Queen Underwood hopes to bring home the gold.
There weren’t a lot of female boxers when Queen Underwood first showed up in 2003 at Cappy’s Boxing Gym in Seattle. But Cap Kotz , the owner of that gym, remembers it didn’t much matter to the young athlete.
“She was 19 at the time," Kotz says. "She, yeah, showed as a champion right from the beginning.”
Nine years and five national championships later, Underwood is competing at the 2012 Olympics in London. Kotz says when he watches her in that ring, he’ll still get the anxious feeling of a coach.
“Nervous, yes, cuz everyone in the gym has watched Queen grow up and move through and they’ve all been influenced by her.”
Cappy’s Boxing Gym plans to screen the fights from across the pond. Meanwhile, Underwood’s sister will have a closer view of the action. A last-minute flurry of public support has given her enough money to travel to London for the games.
The first Olympic competition in women’s boxing kicks off at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, Aug. 5.
On the Web:
Team USA animated video about Queen Underwood and her sister:
London Games Boxing Schedule:
Cappy’s Boxing Gym:
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