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Katie Taylor interview
We spoke to the gold medal winner two years ago...
Adrienne Murphy, 09 Aug 2012
As Olympic champ Katie Taylor accepts the gold medal after beating Russian opponent Sofya Ochigava, we look back two years - when we met the Bray boxer and awarded her our Hot Press 'Sportsperson of the Year', 2010 award...
24-year-old Katie Taylor from Bray, County Wicklow, is our main contender for a Gold in the next Olympics. Former captain of the Irish soccer team (with whom she’s won 40 caps), Taylor has held her position as the world’s top female boxer for the last three years. Now, with women’s boxing having been included as an official sport for the first time in the history of the Olympics for London 2012, it’s time to fasten your seatbelts. Katie’s all set to take us on a rollercoaster ride.
I meet the exceptionally grounded, beautiful, almond-eyed athlete for a chat in a hotel along the seafront in Bray. Her father and coach, Pete Taylor, who emerges as one of the best male espousers of the feminist cause that I’ve ever met, sits in on the interview.
Adrienne Murphy: When did you first know, Katie, that you wanted to box?
Katie Taylor: It was always in my family with my dad boxing. My two brothers were boxing as well. My mother was the first female boxing judge in the country. The minute I walked into St Fergal’s Boxing Club in Bray, when I was 10 years of age, I loved it. There was something great about getting into the ring and one-on-one combat. I always messed around in the house before that, with the gloves on, with my two brothers and my dad. I already knew how to throw a punch before I even went to the boxing club.
Is your sister into boxing as well?
She was into more normal girl stuff. I was a tomboy when I was growing up.
Are there female boxers who are into girls’ stuff?
Oh yeah, there are plenty who are really girly girls outside of the ring. With me, I was more into soccer and other sporty things.
As a girl starting boxing, were you worried about hurting somebody or getting hurt yourself?
Not at all. When you’re in the ring, it’s a sport, so you’re not going in there trying to kill one another. It’s a skill, and you have to think about everything you’re doing. And if you’re getting hurt, there’s always someone there to stop the fight.