In the footsteps of sports greats who toppled barriers, such as Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, and “Rudy”, Gail Grandchamp’s story…her voice…must be heard. The true history must be told.
Today’s headlines read: Women’s Boxing to be included in the 2012 Olympic Games; but the media has the story all wrong… The “historic decision” to include women’s boxing in the Olympic Games did not come in 2009 as reported. Rather, it came in April 1992 after one woman – Gail Grandchamp – waged an 8-year battle to make it so. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) may have emerged from closed doors in 2009 to announce the decision, but the foundation was laid 17 years earlier in a classic David versus Goliath battle in the courts.
- Gail Grandchamp was a juvenile delinquent minutes from being sentenced to a correctional facility when she was given one “last chance” to turn her life around. She took it, and shortly thereafter returned to high school and joined a community Boxing program.
- She graduated from high school in 1976, and went to work at North Adams State College (NASC), where she was a member of the NASC Boxing team. She was not allowed to compete in intercollegiate matches, however, because she is female.
- Moving on from North Adams, she continued her Boxing career and set her sights on the 1984 Olympic Games. In 1984, she started lobbying with the IOC to include women’s Boxing in the Olympics. After years of rejection from the IOC, her manager convinced her to go Pro because she would never compete in the Olympics.
- Gail decided to turn Pro, but when she applied for a Pro Boxing license in Massachusetts, once again, she was denied because of her gender. Gail (acting as her own attorney) filed a Sex Discrimination suit in Boston and won the right for her Pro Boxing license. She became the first woman to receive a Pro Boxing license in Massachusetts; and went on in 1987 to win the first professional female boxing match in Massachusetts.
- Despite enjoying a successful Professional career and knowing that she would be ineligible to compete in the Olympic Games, Gail continued to fight with the IOC for the right for women Boxers to be included in the Olympic Games. She pursued this dream on behalf of all other women boxers who would be eligible.
- In 1992, after 8-years of her own time and money and acting as her own attorney, Gail Grandchamp won the right for women Boxers to compete in the Olympic Games.
- For the first time, in 2012, Women Boxers will be included in the Olympic Games. Dreams of Boxer Mary Kom and other Olympic hopefuls are coming true because of Gail…
In the footsteps of sports greats who toppled barriers, such as Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, and “Rudy”, Gail’s story…her voice…must be heard. The true history must be told.
Gail Grandchamp is the author of a book and a screenplay both titled A Fighter with Heart Pursues an Olympic Dream. Gail is a motivational speaker and producer of her own product line. Gail “turned her life around through her faith and love of the sport of boxing. Growing up, Gail admits she was headed down a path that would have sent her to juvenile detention…[she] turned her life around…[and] is a positive role model for the youth of the world (p3-4; Grandchamp).
Got an Opinion? Submit Your Articles and Press Releases to be posted on NowBoxing.com
*Please refrain from leaving any Racist, Profane or Derogatory comments*
Discuss this topic in the NowBoxing Forums (Membership is FREE)