Many people have asked about the process of women's boxing being added to the Olympics. The sport of boxing has been in the modern Olympic Games since 1904. The inclusion of women requires only the addition of women's events (as opposed to adding an entirely new sport). Here's an outline of what must take place to add women's boxing events to the Olympics:
Step 1: AIBA must decide that they want to petition to add women's boxing events. At the recent AIBA Executive Commission meeting in Beijing, the AIBA EC voted in favor of a petition. The decision was reported by many news sources, including:www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/08/18/sports/OUKSP-UK-OLYMPICS-BOXING-WOMEN.phpwww.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/aug/18/olympics2008.olympicsboxing1?gusrc=rss&feed=sport
Step 2: AIBA must officially petition the IOC for women's events to be included in the 2012 Olympic Games in London (this would include the details of women's participation, including how many athletes in each weight class, and how many events/weight classes). AIBA is expected to send the official petition to the IOC sometime between October and December of 2008.
Step 3: The IOC Executive Committee will decide whether or not to accept AIBA's petition; they will agree on a date to vote on it; and once voted on, the IOC EC will announce their decision to the public. The IOC is expected to vote sometime between December 2008 and October 2009.
Much work has taken place to get to this point. And work will continue until the announcement by the IOC.
What does Olympic inclusion mean for Team USA? Official Olympic status means a formal relationship between USA Boxing and the USOC to develop and expand women's boxing programs, including additional funding and increased international competition opportunities for girls and women. Official Olympic status also increases the value of the USA Boxing brand, and opens more opportunities for USA Boxing staff to secure sponsors, and increase marketing and exposure for Team USA and its programs.
What does Olympic inclusion mean for the selection of the US National Team? With the announcement of Olympic inclusion, USA Boxing will develop women's boxing programs according to their 2012 Performance Plan. Likely the women's national team will be selected in a similar manner as the men's national team, along with similar rights and responsibilities of team members. Specifics of how to become a member of the national team would come straight from USA Boxing, likely within a few months of the official IOC announcement.
What does Olympic inclusion mean for AIBA? To continue to grow international boxing, AIBA will likely increase international tournaments and championships for women and girls. Some international tournaments will be held in conjunction with men's, while others will be separate. It is also possible that some tournaments might include both girls and women, while others will be separate based on age division.
What does Olympic inclusion mean for the International Olympic Committee? With the inclusion of women boxers, the 2012 Games will be truly inclusive, and bring the IOC closer to their goal of equal opportunity.
* To follow the progression of women's Olympic boxing inclusion, visit http://www.LetThemBox.org
** For more information on the USA Boxing Athlete Advisory Council, visit http://www.USABoxingAthlete.com