SEATTLE-- So you want to go to the London Olympics? You want to step into the ring as part of the first Women's boxing competition in Olympic history? You want to train full-time, win the only USA slot in your weight-class, take on the world under the big bright light of Olympic scrutiny? You want to dance on sports' biggest stage?
Well get ready to work hard and get ready to find some way to pay for training, food, travel, lodging, marketing, clothing, equipment and a lot more. That's what's facing Queen Underwood, the Garfield High School graduate from Seattle who isn't just hoping butplanning to get to London next summer.
It's work. It's just like a job she said. Sometimes you don't want to get up and go, but you have to.
While Queen trains, working on the strength, power, speed, agility and endurance her brutal sport demands, her QueenTeam is trying to solve the money problems.
Three-hundred thousand dollars is what we figure is the bottom line, to and through London, said Cappy Kotz, the QueenTeam head coach.
They have started by growing the grassroots, reaching out to people and businesses in the Central District neighborhood where Queen trains and Cappy runs his boxing gym. Tougo Coffee gives the Queen free hazelnut lattes, Good Hair Salon on Yesler does all her hair-work, nail-work and image-work, The Feed Bag on Capitol Hill gives her free dog-food.
All of that helps of course, as do the small donations and t-shirt purchases through her website, www.Queenteam.org.
But what the QueenTeam really needs now is some heavyweight support from the business community. They want a local company that has made it big, made a splash beyond the Puget Sound, to get on board and start writing some serious checks. The QueenTeam believes they have a great product to sell.
We know she's going to do quite well. We see her winning the gold, said boxing assistant coach and head of sponsorship development, Tricia Turton. Now they just have to convince some corporate sugar-daddy to take the plunge, reach into those deep pockets and join the team.
As for The Queen of the Ring , all she has to do is keep winning. She won't have a chance to slug her way to the Olympics until early next year.