The Tokyo Olympics will undoubtedly have a special mystique for the whole world and especially for each of the athletes who will be part of it.
Some of the qualifying competitions were successfully completed at the beginning of 2020, such was the case of Asia-Oceania held in Amman, Jordan, and Dakar, Africa. Both competitions were very impressive due to the achievements in female boxing, for example. Here are two stories of great pride.
One year of waiting due to the unforeseen world health situation paused commitments like the most dreamt sport appointment by athletes and societies. However, this one-year delay turned out to be seen as a new opportunity to strengthen the work and be better prepared. One aspect to highlight of Tokyo is that it will be the third Olympic Game hosting women’s boxing; which had its debut in London 2012 with only three divisions and has now grown to five, allowing the participation of 100 women.
There are two girls who have made it through the ranks and who show the power of dreams and the pride of a nation to tell inspiring stories like these with flying flags: 21-year-old featherweight boxer IM Ae-ji became the first South Korean female fighter to win a gold medal in the 2017 junior championship. And, in March 2020 in Jordan, she also became a pioneer in earning a place in the Olympic Games. That same month, but in Africa, Christine Ongare, 26, did the same feat in the flyweight division, becoming an inspiration to her compatriots in Kenya, where 40 percent of the girls have a child before they turn 18.
South Korean representative IM Ae-ji began boxing as a teenager and quickly rose to prominence when she had only 3 years training, becoming the national junior champion in three different weight divisions at the age of 17. Her talent has amazed since then as well as her great performance in the 2017 World Cup, where she won the first gold medal for the country and afterwards it was known that she had competed with a significant injury that led her to restrain pain on the ring but that did not stop her from being the best. Now she will have a new challenge and she is preparing for it with great illusions of adding another footprint to the books of South Korean sports history.
On the other hand, Christine Ongare is living a great dream by becoming part of Tokyo after having gone through a complicated life: at the age of 12 she became a mother and put aside her soccer boots to look for an opportunity with the gloves in the ring. Her excellent sporting performance led her to climb every step of the amateur ladder until she reached the qualifiers, which means she is now focused on her first Olympic Games.
Two stories that become a message of improvement and inspiration for all women in every country in the world.