Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

I’M NOT TOO PRETTY TO BE PUNCHED

Boxing contender Skye Nicolson won’t be judged by her looks

- AMANDA LULHAM

YOU can come at her, throw a jab her way, and even a resounding right hook. But whatever you do, do not tell Skye Nicolson she is too pretty to fight.

It is the thing that most infuriates the young boxer, who has the lofty goal of becoming the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold in the ring.

Boxing since the age of 12, Nicolson says she believes she was born to fight and is frustrated when people query why she is doing it and why women might want to do it.

“I know they don’t mean it as an insult, saying I am too pretty to box, but it’s offensive,’’ said the Queensland featherwei­ght, who has her first bout at the Games on Monday after a first-round bye.

“One of the first things people say is, ‘You are too pretty to box’. I get offended. I think most people think it’s a compliment.’’

But Nicolson says even her parents were surprised when she chose the sport despite her late brother Jamie competing at the Barcelona Olympics – before his death along with younger brother Gavin in a 1994 car crash – a year before she was born.

“I came from a boxing family, but for their 12-year-old princess to turn around and say I wanted to box was a big shock,” she said.

“I was into musical theatre and gymnastics and dancing. I was a pretty little blonde girl, a little princess.

“But it was like I had this split personalit­y. I have a girl side where I love glamming up, doing hair and makeup. And then other times I look like a homeless boy.

“Even when I was little, I was a tomboy one day and then on another I was singing and wearing dresses. People back then would ask what sport I did and I would say musical theatre.’’

Nicolson said while her brother Jamie would be with her in Tokyo in spirit as her “guarding angel’’, she wants to make her own way.

“I have said I am always open to talking about my brother, but this is my story, my journey,’’ she said.

“I want to be known as the girl doing amazing thing, not just the girl with the brothers.

“But I feel we have a connection. I feel like I know him, he’s on the journey with me, that he paved the way. I feel like I am sharing the journey with him.”

Women’s boxing was introduced to the program at the London Olympics, and Britain’s Nicola Adams was the first woman to win gold.

She then defended her title in Rio.

There are eight men’s and five women’s weight categories in Tokyo, with boxers competing in three rounds lasting three minutes, with a one-minute rest period.

“I am going for the gold,” Nicolson said. “We’ve never had a gold medal before so that’s the main goal – being the first.”

 ??  ?? Boxer Skye Nicolson shapes up for the camera. Picture: Getty Images
Boxer Skye Nicolson shapes up for the camera. Picture: Getty Images
 ??  ?? Skye Nicolson trains for Tokyo.
Skye Nicolson trains for Tokyo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia