Nicola Adams has experienced an extraordinary journey from the streets of Burmantofts in her hometown of Leeds all the way to the Olympic stage, becoming a sporting hero, inspiration and ray of hope for millions of young women and girls worldwide.
In the open letter Adams praises her hometown and says: “You’ve championed me from the very start of my career and so, I wanted you to be the first to know I’ve made the very difficult decision to step down from the ring.
“I’m immensely honoured to have represented our country – to win double Olympic gold medals and then the WBO championship belt is a dream come true… But it’s not without taking its toll on my body, and aside from the expected aches and pains - I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.”
Adams found herself on the way to a magnificent career by accident, ending up in a Leeds boxing gym at the age of 12 when her mother took her along to her aerobics class.
Soon after, she had her first fight: “I can still remember my first fight as a 13-year-old. It was at East Leeds Working Men’s Club and I boxed three one-and-a-half-minute rounds. I won on points. I forget the name of the girl I beat.”
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Even in the early days, when boxing had yet to become an Olympic sport, Adams told her mum she would win a gold medal in the Olympics. Fast forward to London 2012 she went on to become the first woman to win gold and did it all over again four years later with another gold in Rio.
More recently, the Flyweight champion turned professional in 2017, winning all five of her bouts since, three of those victories coming via knockout. She recalls her first interests in the sport, “watching a recording of the Rumble in the Jungle – that great fight in 1974 between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.”
Adams has always maintained a strong adoration for her city and still has a home in East Leeds. It is this love, combined with the unwavering support of her mum Dee and younger brother Kurtis that has powered her drive to succeed.
But now the Olympic Champion has become an advocate of her own, inspiring women and girls all over the world, making an impact in encouraging them to take up boxing. She says: “It feels a bit surreal, but if female boxers feel encouraged to pursue their dreams as a result of what I’ve been able to do – then I’m immensely humbled.”
The 2013 MBE and 2017 OBE receiver is looking forward to a well-deserved rest after training every day for 20 years but says that boxing will still remain an important part of her life.News Now - Sport News