I choose not to celebrate

London 2012 can boast many “firsts” on it’s list of considerable achievements, many reasons to celebrate . I do not believe, however, that Women’s Boxing being included for the first time is one of those.  I am choosing not to celebrate it.

Should I really be celebrating that my sex is now equal to men in the ring? Should I experience some sense of joy that women can now beat each other round the face and body in public, encouraged by cheering masses? Call me old-fashioned, but I take no delight, or pride in this “progress”.

I have never understood the justification for boxing. I do not doubt that it requires months, no years, of dedication and training. I am simply stunned that, in 2012, we believe it is “sport” to watch people fighting and gaining points for inflicting injury.

Surely this is only one step removed from Gladiators and the jeering crowds who savoured every moment, every blow, every gory injury. As a woman who is passionate about equality, I would like to see all boxing removed from the Olympics – for men and for women.


There were so many examples of real progress, real reasons for celebration,  for and by women at the London 2012 games – not least the first woman athlete from Saudi Arabia ever to compete – Sarah Attar. That’s progress worth celebrating.

Or Helen Glover and Heather Stanning – who became the first British women to take an Olympic rowing Gold Medal – that had me jumping for joy in celebration.

Or Italy’s Josefa Idem who became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games – that’s astonishing!

As I watched Mohamed Ali being supported on either arm, to allow him to stand at the opening ceremony, I was moved to tears and found myself questioning, again, how far we had really progressed from Roman times.  When would they be throwing people to the Lions?

Let’s see some real progress – some brave decisions – how about NO boxing in the 2016 games? In my opinion, that would be something to celebrate.


Published by Dinah Liversidge

Independent Celebrant, helping you create a celebration of your love, life and family. Living in Myddfai, Carmarthenshire, in a woodland cottage with the love of my life and our pets, Branston Pickle and Lilly. Lover of conversation, chocolate, coffee and connecting people.

2 thoughts on “I choose not to celebrate

  1. Hi Dinah,
    I agree but disagree…let me explain!
    I think it is a shame that boxing is still seen as a sport, I don’t enjoy it, I think it is cruel and damaging to the players. I even dislike watching the games that people play on consoles that include boxing!

    However, it has been proven that boxing can reduce anti-social behaviour in teens, it’s a great sport for getting fit, and in Olympic boxing they have the face protectors which is a good start.

    I think it is great progress that women are in most of the sports but yes, it is a shame that it is such an awful one for the body, mind and probably the soul too. At least it’s getting somewhere and if it’s enabling teens to feel more part of their future, community and make new connections then that’s fantastic, but for goodness sake, take away the KO scores!

  2. I’m with you Dinah, I understand it takes training and skill but I don’t see this as a positive step. Thank you for choosing to write this blog. Jayne xx

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