KATIE TAYLOR is prepared to sacrifice her Olympic dream if the governing authorities insist women boxers wear skirts to help “sex up” the competition, according to her father and coach, Peter.
Peter revealed that before last year’s world championships semi-finals in Barbados, his daughter refused to fight in a skirt and tight-fitting vest which the authorities inferred that she and all other semi-finalists had to wear. And while the authorities relented on that occasion, Taylor fears the relevant powers may make such attire mandatory at next year’s Olympic qualifiers and Games, something he says he and his daughter won’t be part of.
“She won’t box, simple as that,” said Peter, who like his daughter, is a devoted born-again Christian.
“We’ve got morals that go above marketing. It’s discrimination. It’s obviously men making these decisions and it’s wrong.”
In all other Olympic combat sports, female participants wear their respective sport’s traditional gear but the International Boxing Association’s president, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, publicly expressed his support for making skirts compulsory in women’s Olympic boxing.
The move is believed to be popular within circles of the OCI.
“I have heard many times, people say, ‘We can’t tell the difference between the men and the women’, especially on TV, since they’re in the same uniforms and wearing headgear,” he stated last September.
“The uniform was presented [in Barbados] as optional but after we hear about its [the skirt’s] comfort and how easy it is to compete in the uniform, it may be compulsory.”
Taylor has won gold at the last three world championships and the last four European championships and chasing gold in the Olympics has been the main reason why she has refused the lure of going professional.
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