Cuba’s boxers are renowned for their skill in the ring. This country has won more Olympic gold medals than any other country in boxing, and it is a source of pride for them as well as a large part of their national identity. However, ever since the revolution and the rise of Castro, women were banned from boxing. Namibia Flores, is today, the only known female Cuban boxer. She has trained for years in an all men’s fight club and many say that with her talent and technique, she could be a national champion. Despite the ban on her participation in the sport, Flores has continued her training in the hopes that some day soon, the restrictions will be lifted. However, she only has two more years to qualify for competition, so with no sign of change from her own government, she is traveling to the United States in hopes of pursuing her passion there instead.
While this action may not prove positive with US-Cuba relations, it will put pressure on the Cuban government to implement equality in sports for it’s people. If Flores makes a name for herself in the US, Cuba will have to recognize their loss and will be more likely to reconsider the ban on female boxers. Her actions could bring about a very progressive change in Cuba, and could pave the way for other female boxers in the future.
Posted by Sophie Terry