The 2012 London Olympics promises to have equal opportunity for male and female athletes. While baseball and softball are out this time, women's boxing has been added to equal the opportunities.
In August 2009, the International Olympic Committee decided to add women's boxing to the 2012 London Olympics. This addition made all twenty six sports available to both men and women. There are still some disparities in the amount of medals that will be given to men and women, especially in boxing.
Women's boxing will include three weight classes, flyweight, lightweight, and middleweight. Men formerly had eleven weight classes, but will have ten this time. Men's weight classes will include 250 fighters, whereas the women fighters will number 36. Only amateur fighters will be allowed to participate.
In 2005, the Olympic committee decided against including women's boxing in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. Many on the committee were against women fighting in the ring because of safety and the lack of women boxers.
Just because women's boxing has made it to the Olympic stage, it doesn't mean that it has lost its controversial nature. Women's matches will have two-minute rounds, instead of three minutes like the men's bouts. Cuba's Olympic boxing team, which has won several awards over the years, will not have women participating in 2012. Shortly after the inclusion of the women's team was announced, Cuba's coach, Pedro Roque,said, "Cuban women should be showing off their beautiful faces, not getting punched in the face."
The other controversial issue that the women's boxing teams have had to face is what they will be wearing in the ring. The Amateur International Boxing Administration (AIBA) has been pushing the idea that women wear skirts when fighting in the ring. They want the women to look like women in the ring and the AIBA president, Dr. Ching-Kao Wu, believes that it is difficult to distinguish male and female boxers because of the headgear. Ireland boxer, Katie Taylor, does not like the idea of wearing a skirt in the ring; she said, "I won't be wearing a mini-skirt. I don't even wear mini-skirts on a night out, so I definitely won't be wearing mini-skirts in the ring."
The current decision is that women boxers will have the choice to wear skirts or shorts in the ring in London.
- 2012 London Olympics