Bovee’s Boxing Journey Takes Her To Olympic Games In London

By: Patrick Newell

Bovee’s boxing journey takes her to Olympic Games in London

Angel Bovee had her career path seemingly mapped out. After graduating from Norwich High School in 1990, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at SUNY Plattsburgh, and followed that up with a masters in Recreation Management at SUNY Cortland.

Well on her way to a long career in the media, Bovee quit her job as a television producer at age 25 to pursue a dream as an Olympic-style boxer. She moved out of her apartment and set up shop in her Plymouth Sundance, and kept that car parked in the Poughkeepsie train station. She commuted every day to the famous Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn to train full time and work toward her dream. “Other’s saw this as an incredible risk, but for me it was an easy decision,”  Bovee said in an interview with an online website.

Along the way, Bovee won countless boxing titles including the National Golden Gloves on three occasions, the last title coming in 2007 to go with three New York Golden Gloves title. Bovee’s stated goal of reaching the Olympic Games, however, was not realized. Women’s boxing did not become an official Olympic sport until this past summer in London. By that time, Bovee had surpassed the maximum age limit of 35 for women’s boxing.

Still, Bovee has remained active in boxing. In 2006, she was voted as the only woman on the 10-member USA Boxing Board of Directors, the organization responsible for the oversight of Olympic-style boxing in the United States. She is presently the Chair of the USA Boxing Athlete Advisory Council, and through her experiences as an athlete advocate and her career at Adecco Technical Services, was invited to join the USA Olympic boxing teams in London.

We recently interviewed Bovee upon her return from London last month, and the following is a transcript of the questions and answers:

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PN: Please describe the reaction from others on your decision to become an Olympic-style boxer.

AB: It was my dream and I lived every waking moment moving towards that dream. At 25, I had no business thinking I could ever be competitive enough to compete in an Olympic Games, but I really didn’t think about that. Luckily, I grew up in a household where my parents never told me I couldn’t do something because I was female, because I was gay, because I was older.... I grew up in an atmosphere where independence and resiliency were fostered, and you set a goal and then work extremely hard to achieve that goal, no matter what it was. I credit my parents, my martial arts training, and being a lifetime member of the Girl Scout organization for helping to foster those skills within me.

PN: Why boxing?

AB: Anyone can have a job for 40 years working towards the house and the white picket fence. To me, the zest of life comes not in saving for retirement, but having as many unique life experiences as I can, when I can, while trying to do some good along the way. Boxing has allowed me to travel the world, and have so many experiences that I would not otherwise have...boxing has also been the conduit not only for me to have a platform to discuss and fight for gender equality in sports, but also to be a positive example of an openly gay and out role model. It is a way to show young girls and women that you can do anything you want in this world, if you are willing to fight the good fight.”

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