(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) - Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.)
received the call she had been dreaming about for over a
month on Monday morning, and the voice on the other line
delivered the message she'd been hoping for. The
28-year-old lightweight immediately fell into tears upon
learning that she would be nominated to compete in the
inaugural Olympic Games for women's boxing in London.
Underwood received the call from USA Boxing Executive
Director Anthony Bartkowski at approximately 10 a.m. PT and
was too emotional to speak after receiving the news.
After regaining her composure, Underwood attempted to put
her feelings into words through the tears. "I'm just so
happy right now. I've been waiting for this second chance
and it means a lot to be able to go to the Olympics,
Underwood said. "All I heard was welcome to the Olympic
Team and I just couldn't control my emotions. I am just
happy and thrilled that they chose me. This is just
As the IOC's Tripartite Commission did not have a suitable
NOC for the lightweight slot, they returned to the berth to
AIBA, the international federation for Olympic-style
boxing. Per the Olympic Selection Guidelines approved the
IOC Executive Board, the berth was to go to the next place
finisher at the 2012 Women's World Championships, which was
Underwood. The American boxer lost a one-point decision to
Norway's Ingrid Egner in preliminary round action at the
World Championships last month, falling just short of
qualifying at that event. She required a first place finish
in the Americas at the 2012 World Championships to earn her
berth at the 2012 Olympic Games in the lone international
"We are thrilled for Queen and believe that she absolutely
deserved to be in London, said USA Boxing Executive
Director Anthony Bartkowski. "She has been an outstanding
representative for the sport since her first national
championship win in 2007 and the team feels complete now
that she will be joining Marlen and Claressa in London.
Underwood's selection by AIBA means that the United States
will be represented in all three women's weight divisions
in the first-ever Olympic Games for Women's Boxing.
Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and middleweight
Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) both qualified for the
Olympic Games based upon their finish at the 2012 World
Championships. Only 12 boxers in each of the three women's
weight divisions will be competing in London.
All nominations to the 2012 Olympic Team are subject to
approval by the USOC Board of Directors.
Additional Underwood Quotes
"I now have the chance to write my own story and my winning
the gold medal is now going to be the headline. That's what
I owe to everybody and to myself. I can't wait to get in
the ring, I really can't. It is going to be way different
"This past three weeks almost destroyed me mentally. All
this pressure, everything since China (where the World
Championships were held) has been so hard.
"This is God's gift to me, the chance to pursue what I've
always dreamed about. It's obviously a dream come true and
it wasn't even in my control. I've worked hard to get here.
I'm just so happy right now.