10:44 EST 9 August 2012
History belongs to a bonny little lass from Leeds with a smile like sunshine and a punch like thunder. So does the future.
Nicola Adams won the first medal achieved by a female boxer at the Olympics and – like her – it was bright, beautiful and golden.
As if her indelible mark in the ring-dust of time were not enough, Adams will for ever signpost the path to glory for the generations of girls brave enough to dare follow her into the toughest arena in sport.
Down and out: Ren Cancan was sent to the canvas by the unstoppable Adams
Royal approval: The Duchess of Cambridge watched the bout as Adams triumphed
Our Nicola did not so much make a statement yesterday afternoon as a command, defying the doubters to refuse a place in the permanent pantheon of the Games to women’s boxing.
She did so with a performance against a world champion which was not only stupendous but which in terms of both Olympic and social significance surpasses even the poster-girl brilliance of Jessica Ennis.
At 28, with so little funding that she was financially dependent on her modest family and coming up to her third month confined to bed with a back injury, Adams was on the brink of giving up on her dream.
The sudden admission of her sport to London 2012 saved her, not only for herself but the country. But when the ultimate reward came in the Thames Docklands it changed her not one iota.
Where the lovely and loveable Jess has been nightclubbing with the capital’s A-list celebrities, the admirable and adorable Nicky had this to say when asked how she would celebrate last night: ‘I’m going out with the old man and the family to … Nando’s.’
Above all rejoice with her in the triumph of the daughter of a humble immigrant family who has reached up to touch the stars and in so doing has shown millions like her that nothing is impossible if you have the heart of a lioness and the stomach for hard work.
If there has been anything more uplifting in these two weeks of endeavour thus far then you will have to show me again on the video.
Yet there were no mawkish tears, no maudlin collapses. Just delight unconfined, exuberance held in modest restraint by satisfaction with a job supremely well done.That smile never seemed to stop shining, not even during the four rounds of hand-to-hand combat.
From the first bell of this, the first female final, Adams was too quick, too sharp, too brim-full of belief for China’s hitherto omnipotent Ren Cancan. Her non-stop aggression was a nightmare for her opponent and the points piled up in the British corner as Ren was knocked down in a heap by a clinically executed left-right combination in the second round.
‘I didn’t see that coming,’ grinned Adams. ‘I was just thinking about becoming Olympic champion.’ By then, so were we all and the final tally of 16-7 could have been wider.Ren got up to take the eight count and fought on but Adams certainly canned Cancan. So dominant was Adams that in the last seconds before the final bell she indulged in an Ali Shuffle.
‘They’ll have to call it the Nicky Shuffle now,’ she joked, laughing now. That was one crowning moment. Then came another.
Take that: Adams was simply too strong for her opponent at the ExCel on Thursday
Happiness came to this girl with a ribbon around her neck: ‘It’s a dream come true. I have wanted this all my life and I’ve got it. It was an amazing feeling to step on the podium and taking the medal home to Leeds will be special.’ To Yorkshire, where yet another postbox will soon be painted gold.
In fact, it was two jobs done to perfection within 24 hours, both different and cleverly so. Adams had met the swarming attacks of Indian icon Mary Kom in the semi-final a day earlier by boxing stylishly, keeping her at bay with a strict jab and picking her off with accurate counter-punches.
Ren was different, an elegant lady who likes to be unhurried. So Adams overwhelmed her with a furious and sustained assault from all angles. This remarkable, adaptable command of such a variety of boxing skills even asked questions of the status of the girl who followed her into the ring as the best female boxer in the world.
There can be advantages in being the smallest. As a flyweight Adams had the honour of winning the first women’s medal. She was cheered to the rafters but the Irish had taken over a majority of the 10,000 seats and when their beloved Katie Taylor came in they again challenged the Games decibel level of 113 set the night their lightweight girl met Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas in one helluva fight.
Come the golden hour, Taylor was made to struggle for her 10-8 win by the technically adept Russian Sofia Ochigava. She got there by changing her own style to that of a counter-puncher in the last two rounds and the great Barry McGuigan took the microphone to officially launch the hoolie for Ireland’s first gold medal at these Games. But while Taylor is generally recognised as No 1 among her species, Adams stole that from her. Maybe for one night only, perhaps for a while now that the silver bridesmaid at two World Championships has acquired a taste for dressing in gold.
There were smiles, too, from Clarissa Shields as she spared the blushes of the first US men’s boxing team ever to go home without a medal by winning gold at middleweight.
But ladies night in the East End belonged to a working-class English girl who dared to dream.
Nicola Adams was born on October 26th, 1982 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicola_Adams
October 26th, 1982
10 + 26 +2+0+1+1 = 40 = her personal year (from October 26th, 2011 to October 25th, 2012) = Doing her part.
40 year + 7 (July) = 47 = her personal month (from July 26th, 2012 to August 25th, 2012) = Famous. Internationally known.
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