American Fuchs focuses on victory to keep away mental fear


Fierce challenge: Virginia Fuchs (right) and Svetlana Soluianova exchanging punches. — AP

TOKYO: For someone who suffers from fear of contamination, the decision to travel to the Tokyo Olympics amid the Covid-19 pandemic was not easy for United States boxer Virginia Fuchs.

But the dream of winning an Olympic gold medal convinced the 33-year-old flyweight boxer to make the long trip.

Fuchs, fondly called “Ginny the pirate” by her teammates, took the first step towards achieving her goal when she defeated Russia’s Svetlana Soluianova by 3-2 on points in her opening bout yesterday.

While undergoing treatment for anorexia at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and she says she has to deal with her contamination fear from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.

“It’s all about the gold medal,” she said at the Kokugikan Arena, where her teammates filled the bowl-shaped indoor stadium with shouts of “Go Ginny” from the stands.

“We’ve been travelling, I lived in a hotel for a month and it’s very hard for me. And I tell myself every day, ‘Don’t worry’. I have those thoughts and it bothers me, but I always put the gold medal in front of those thoughts and that’s what pushed me through every day.

“And that’s why I’m here.”

Fuchs showed early promise as a distance runner and wanted to go to the Olympics since she was a little girl to compete in running but realised she did not have enough talent to qualify. She picked up boxing gloves next and went on to win bronze at the 2018 World Championships and a silver at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Fuchs said she was adjusting to the Olympic life but “everyday is still a struggle”.

“I’m not gonna lie, it is hard,” said Fuchs, who will next meet Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria.

“But again I am not gonna let those little things take away from what I’m here to do.

“I have worked 10 years to get to this point. So, I’m not gonna let one second of my contamination fear get in the way.” — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

   

Next In Boxing

Ghanaian featherweight aims to go pro after historic Olympic bronze
De La Hoya hospitalized with COVID-19, withdraws from upcoming fight
Boxing-Brain injury association calls for ban after death of Mexican teenager
Boxing-Australian medallist Garside fined for hosting party during lockdown
Boxing-Pacquiao beaten by Ugas in welterweight title fight, considers his future
Boxing-Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, wins pro fight debut
Boxing-Former world champion Haye set for return against Fournier
Boxing-Pacquiao not taking last-minute replacement Ugas lightly
Boxing-Venezuelan refugee Olympic boxer says he will be taken in by Uruguay
Boxing-Spence withdraws from Pacquiao fight with torn retina

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers