BOOK/SPORT: Believe by Nicola Adams

 Believe: Boxing, Olympics and my life outside the ring by Nicola Adams

At London 2012, Nicola Adams made history. The flyweight boxer became the first woman ever to win an Olympic Gold medal for boxing. In Rio 2016, with the nation cheering her on, she did it all over again.

Years of relentless training, fundraising and determination have seen Nicola battle through injury, prejudice and defeat to become one of Britain best-loved athletes and an inspiration to all those who are chasing after a seemingly impossible dream.

From a leisure centre in Leeds to the Olympic Stadium in Rio, Nicola with her infamous smile has become the poster girl for women in sport. She’s a trailblazer, record-breaker, and has led the way for women’s boxing. This is Nicola’s story of grit, talent and the real person behind the smile.

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I first heard of Nicola Adams during the 2012 London Olympics. Everyone had been talking about the fact that Women’s Boxing was now recognised as an Olympic sport and Nicola appeared in a lot of the coverage. I  loved her spirit and ambition and I followed her winning the first ever gold medal in her discipline. I was even more excited to hear she was bisexual as we are sorely lacking in out and proud LGBT athletes. Nicola is such a fantastic role model for so many young women out there and I’ve been following her career ever since.

What I didn’t know was Nicola’s life before the 2012 Olympics and the sheer strength, drive and ambition she demonstrated throughout her life to make Women’s Boxing recognised as a sport and an Olympic discipline. I also didn’t know the amount of health hurdles she had to go through to become an athlete. It’s fascinating to read how much hard work it’s taken to get where she is now and it’s definitely a must-read for any would-be athletes out there.

Nicola Adams touches on her feminism and sexuality at the very end of the book. While she hadn’t initially identified with the term “feminist”, her journey shows she is as much committed to equality as a lot of feminists and she is now proud to claim the term. Regarding her sexuality, she has never been in the closet but isn’t one to share her personal life much in public. She always knew she was bisexual and it has never been an issue in her life.

This book is a fantastic insight in Nicola Adams’ life and her journey to become a world-class athlete. It’s also a great reminder of how much hard work, fight and dedication it takes to reach equality in sport and to win gold.

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Thank you to Penguin Platform for sending me the book!

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