Friday, August 9, 2013

What are your London2012 memories?

Hard to believe it's been a year since the London Olympics! In that year women's boxing has grown and grown in Ireland - all thanks to the Gold Medal brought home by Katie Taylor. 

I travelled over for her first fight, what an experience. How could anyone forget the feeling as the sound built and built - shattering sound records and dwarfing noise coming from larger stadiums. She fought local girl Natasha Jones - a great battler in her own right, and the combination of Irish and English voices almost lifted the roof.  The noise hit 113.7 decibels, close to the 140 of a jet-engine taking off.

Pretending to be an Olympian!
It was a great sensation - I posted here about the day.  And even in the days after her win, you could sense that things were changing. Suddenly commentators and newspapers were speaking with new-found authority on women's boxing. 

I spoke to Fionn Davenport on Newstalk about everyone's hopes for the future. And 12 months on, much of that hope is being fulfilled. It's not perfect but a great outing by the women's team at the European Championships recently certainly marked a huge change from the days when coaches had to fight to get even Taylor a place on the plane. 

And a noticeable change from previous Olympics, as I wrote here for The Irish Times. 

The buzz created by Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, the knowing every country had made an effort - no matter how paltry - to get at least one woman on the team, the success of women like Taylor. 

It all added up to something special, something meaningful we can take solace from for a long time to come. 

What moments stood out for you?

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