Lubbock Welcomes Olympic Boxing Hopefuls for 2024, 2028
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Even as the world’s greatest athletes arrive in Tokyo, Japan, for the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics, rising talent from USA Boxing made a stop in Lubbock for the “Junior Olympics,” an event where young boxers can gain points and hopefully compete at the national championships in December.
USA Boxing’s executive director, Mike McAtee, stopped to visit with KCBD and encouraged the public to support the athletes, especially since spectators will not be allowed to attend the sporting events across Japan.
“Amateur Olympic-style boxing is one of the oldest sports. It was one of the original sports of the Olympic Games,” he said.
The talent arriving in Lubbock comes from 48 states. While USA Boxing is responsible for the training of this year’s Olympians, they also look to grow the sport through the next generation of fighters.
“The level of talent that’s here is just going to be amazing,” McAtee said. “Our Olympic team, they’re over in Miyazaki (Japan). They’ll move into the Olympic village on the 17th. But the boxers that are here, we reload. 16, 17, and 18 year-old’s will be our hopefuls for 2024, and then the interesting part is that our 12- and 13-year-olds will be our team in 2028. This is their first step in their journeys to becoming an Olympian.”
Even though most boxers of every age eyes an Olympic medal or a professional contract, if not both, McAtee says the sport also teaches the kids valuable lessons, while steering their lives in a better direction.
“So, most boxers compete. They do it as staying off the streets, it’s a great way to be able to have a controlled aggression, respect for others, delayed gratification.”
The Junior Olympics will run through July 17 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, and admission is free. The Summer Olympics can be seen on KCBD-TV, and other NBC networks. McAtee says Lubbock is a prime location for such an event.
“(Lubbock) is a great boxing town. It’s got great boxing history, so we’re excited to be here, and we’re hoping that citizens of Lubbock can come out, watch boxing, and have a great time.”
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