State Links To London Olympics: Boxing


by Sportspress Northwest Staff


Posted on July 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Sportspress Northwest continues its series of biographical sketches of athletes with significant ties to Washington who will compete in the Olympics.

Leo Randolph is the most recent boxer with state ties to win a medal, claiming gold in flyweight at the 1976 Games at Montreal. Washington will be represented by one boxer in London.



BORN: May 8, 1984, Seattle. RESIDENCE: Seattle. SPORT: Boxing EVENT: Lightweight (132 pounds). COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Selected by AIBA, the international governing body of amateur boxing. STATE CONNECTION: Seattle native, Garfield High graduate.

Underwood won the first women's Olympic boxing team trials in February, but dropped a one-point decision at the World Championships in May, falling just short of Olympic qualification and jeopardizing her berth in London’s 12-fighter lightweight field. But in June, the AIBA, which governs international amateur boxing, announced that Underwood would be added to the Olympic team.

CAREER: Underwood’s ambition has always been to win a gold medal at the London Games, where women’s boxing will make its Olympic debut. Her passion for the gold is fueled in part by the fact that she was abused as a child and survived the ordeal by dreaming of one day doing something extraordinary.

“One day,” she told an interviewer this year, “I'm going to be 'Queen of the Ring' and nobody will ever hurt me again. One day, I won't be 12 years old and feeling helpless; one day I'll be strong and unstoppable. This is the dream that kept me from losing my mind in the midst of abuse and violation."

A Garfield High School graduate who trains at Cappy’s Boxing Gym in the Seattle's Central District, Underwood took another step to realizing her dream by capturing her fifth consecutive U.S. Lightweight Boxing championship at the 132-pound weight class last summer in Colorado Springs, CO, defeating Floridian Tiara Brown on points 23-21.

Underwood started boxing at 18, seven years before the sport was voted onto the Olympic calendar. International sports officials originally perceived boxing to be too dangerous for women, though women have suffered few serious injuries in the ring.

In 2009, the International Olympic Committee gave the sport the green light, nudged by the fact that men's boxing was the only summer Olympic sport lacking a female counterpart.

Underwood told KOMO that when the Games arrive, she will be ready. “I’m going there with gold on my mind,” she said, “and I’m going there feeling unstoppable.”

PERSONAL: In addition to boxing, Underwood has participated in track and basketball . . . Loves to listen to music, but does not watch any TV  . . . Played the viola in the school orchestra.BOXING MEDALS BY WASHINGTONIANSGOLD: Pete Rademacher (Pullman), heavyweight, 1952 Helsinki; Sugar Ray Seales (Tacoma), light welterweight, 1972 Munich; Leo Randolph (Tacoma), flyweight, 1976 Montreal. SILVER: None. BRONZE: None.Olympic QualifiersAthletes with connections to the state who have qualified (or been selected)  for the Games.

AthleteSportGms. #CountryState Connection
Nathan AdrianSwimming2USABremerton native
Scott BaynesBasketball1AustraliaWSU grad
Sue BirdBasketball3USASeattle Storm guard
Kim ButlerBasketball1G. BritainBellarmine Prep
Dave CalderRowing4CanadaUniversity of Washington
Will CrothersRowing1CanadaUniversity of Washington
Tyler FarrarCycling1USAWenatchee native
Amanda FurrerShooting1USAMead High, Spokane
Scott GaultRowing2USAUniversity of Washington
Rob GibsonRowing1CanadaUniversity of Washington
Lauren JacksonBasketball4AustraliaSeattle Storm forward
Anthony JacobRowing1CanadaUniversity of Washington
Ebba JungmarkTrack2SwedenWSU grad
Seth KelseyFencing3CanadaBrush Prairie
Ariana KukorsSwimming1USAAuburn Mountainview
Meagan KalmoeRowing2USAUniversity of Washington
Bernard LagatTrack4USAWashington State University
Giuseppe LanzoneRowing2USAUniversity of Washington
Amy LePeilbetSoccer1USASpokane native
Adrienne LyleEquestrian1USAUniversity of Washington
Adrienne MartelliRowing1USAUniversity of Washington
Arielle MartinCycling1USASpanaway native
Conlin McCabeRowing1CanadaUniversity of Washington
Tamari MiyashiroVolleyball1USAUniversity of Washington
Haley NemraTrack2Marshall Is.Marys.-Pilchuck
Brett NewlinRowing2USAUniversity of Washington
Kara PattersonTrack2USASeattle native
Jennie ReedCycling3USASeattle native
Jarred RomeTrack2USAMarys.-Pilchuck High
Janine SandellVolleyball1Great BritainUniversity of Washington
Hope SoloSoccer2USAUniversity of Washington
Travis StevensJudo2USABellevue native
Courtney ThompsonVolleyball1USAUniversity of Washington
Queen UnderwoodBoxing1USASeattle resident
Eric UptagrafftShooting1USASpokane resident
Tejay van GarderenCycling1USATacoma native
Brad WalkerTrack2USAUniversity of Washington
Mary WhippleRowing3USAUniversity of Washington

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