Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Inaugural Women’s Boxing Olympic Trials to Begin in Airway, Washington
For the first time ever, American women hope to compete in the boxing events at the Olympic Games.
Beginning today, 24 women will compete in an effort to continue the qualifying process for the United States. The women's U.S. Boxing Olympic Trials begin tonight at 7 p.m. PST in Airway Heights, Wash., and run through Saturday, Feb 18, 2012. If another round is needed, the trials could continue into Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, according to TeamUSA.org. Universal Sports is expected to live stream the tournament on the Universal Sports website.
The tournament will feature competitors at three weight classes: flyweight (112 lbs.), lightweight (132 lbs.) and middleweight (165 lbs.).
The women who win the three weight classes will have earned the spot to represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games—that is, if they can qualify the weight.
In order to compete in London, the United States must place a woman in the top eight of the respective weight classes at the 2012 World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, according to TeamUSA.org. For each woman who places in the top eight at her respective weight class, the U.S. will be able to send one competitor to the Olympic boxing tournament. The World Championships will take place May 9, 2012-May 20, 2012.
The United States will send the winners at each of the three weight classes from the Olympic Trials tournament to the world championships, as well, so the three women will be boxing in China for their own Olympic berths.
The 2012 Games will mark the first time that women's boxing has been included in the Olympic Games. That inclusion has not come without controversy, the most notable of which has surrounded uniforms for the female boxers. Previously, AIBA suggested that the female boxers wear skirts—a proposal that was met with much criticism from around the world.
Sandra Johnson is a former athlete, a coach and a longtime Olympic fan. She follows women's athletics closely, especially when it comes to Olympic sports. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.