The US officially has its first female Olympic boxer! And the most amazing part? She's only 22 years old and she's Latina! Yesterday, Marlen Esparza made history by earning herself a place in the London Olympics after beating out opponent, Luu Thi Duyen of Vietnam.
This summer's games will mark the debut of women's boxing as an Olympic event and Esparza, who is from Houston, Texas, will be the first of the featherweight divisions (112 pounds) to compete. Currently, there are only three weight divisions in the competition, featherweight, lightweight (132 pounds) and middleweight (165 pounds). 24 of the 36 qualifiers will be determined this week at the women's world boxing championships in China.
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It's exciting enough when a Latina qualifies for any event of the Olympics, but to be so young and part of the sport's debut is even more amazing! It's enough to make anyone (like me, particularly since I'm the same age!) feel awestruck and super impressed.
But above all, it's an incredibly proud moment for the entire Latino community and women everywhere, particularly female athletes. Her victory is a great example of what can happen when a young person is dedicated and motivated to do the very best that they can do in their field.
Plus, it gives the world one very important reminder: Latinas are not to be messed with!
What do you think of Esparza's victory? Tell us in the comments below!