C K Wu: 2012 has been a phenomenal year for boxing
Monday, 31 December 2012
It goes without saying that all members of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Family played a key role in the success of AIBA's undertakings and therefore, I also would like to thank all members for their precious and continued contribution.
From January 18 to 22 in Bangkok, the AIBA Commission meetings were carried out. This was indeed a very productive gathering that had a significant impact on the development of our sport, especially in view of the Olympic Games and the launch of AIBA Professional Boxing (APB).
In February, I had the chance to attend the 5th International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on Women and Sport; an important event where over 800 delegates from 135 countries approved "The Los Angeles Declaration", a series of recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality and equity in sport.
This event was followed in March by the signing of the "Brighton Declaration", a similar statement of principles about women and sport. With these steps, AIBA certainly puts itself on the front-line in defence of women's rights.
While these events were taking place, a new chapter of one of AIBA's most iconic programmes, 'Road to Dream', was coming to life in the city of Cardiff Wales with the "Road to London (I) Training Camp". 62 men and women boxers from 40 countries attended this training camp in preparation for the qualifying events of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The "Road to London (II) Training Camp", attended by 44 athletes from 27 countries, took place in the same city just one month before the Olympic Games. The success of these two camps was such that in London, these athletes shone throughout the whole event, drawing extensive applause from both the public and the media.
Between April and May, as a prelude to the London 2012 Olympic Games, AIBA conducted five excellent continental qualifying events for men boxers. The competitions seen in Canberra, Astana, Trabzon, Casablanca and Rio de Janeiro gave us a first taste of how high the level of our boxers had become. The participation and heterogeneity of the National Federations and their respective athletes were absolutely unprecedented. Such remarkable achievement definitely sealed the success of these winning events.
In the beginning of May and June, two major events rocked the boxing ring of the ExCeL in the warm-up for the London 2012 Olympic Games: the World Series of Boxing (WSB) team final and individual championships, a thrilling epilogue of the second season of this boxing format that has now become the battlefield for franchises representing their countries. In this regard, I am very happy to welcome to the current season new teams in Algeria, Argentina, Great Britain, Poland and Ukraine.
Last May, 305 women boxers from 70 countries had the chance to showcase their skills and qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games in what will be remembered as one of the most competitive AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships. In its seventh edition, this event has now become the only qualifying event to the Olympic Games available to women boxers.
Between May 26 and June 1, AIBA organised the Olympic referees and judges workshop in Assisi, in Italy, which was a very important event in preparation to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In July, just before the Olympic Games, the AIBA Executive Committee gathered for its annual meeting during which important decisions were taken for the future of our sport. It was on this occasion that the AIBA EC awarded the 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships to Kiev Ukraine, the 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships to Sofia and the 2014 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships to Canada.
The roaring success of the long-awaited London 2012 Olympic Games finally paid off all our efforts in preparation to this important event. Many goals were achieved, some even beyond expectations. Above all, a special mention goes to the triumph of women's boxing. These women, who for the first time participated in an Olympiad, performed with such spirit that words fail to describe the atmosphere they created.
At the turn of October and November, AIBA organised in Incheon, the WSB/APB referees and judges and supervisor workshop with the aim of forming a new group of referees, judges and supervisors with a specific preparation in view of APB.
Not too long after the dimming of the lights of London, WSB marked in November the return of great boxing with a new season full of excitements.
Last but not least, the success of the 2012 AIBA World Youth Boxing Championships held this November-December in Yerevan. This event, which concluded our boxing calendar for this year, was a magnificent occasion to admire many rising stars and gives us hope for an even brighter tomorrow of our beloved sport.
Now, as this year is winding down, we can look at the future with the confidence that there is no such thing like an impossible objective. Our achievements speak for themselves.
For this reason, I would like to encourage all members of the AIBA Family to continue on this path in view of next year's challenges, among which the most important are: the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Kiev in August, the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty in October, the AIBA Women's Junior/Youth World Boxing Championships, the opening of the Boxing Academy in Kazakhstan and finally the launch of the APB.
C K Wu is the AIBA President and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member