Commonwealth Games: Skye Nicolson wins boxing gold in memory of her dead brothers – Commonwealth Games 2018

0
11


Posted

April 15, 2018 06:34:34

Skye Nicolson never met her brothers, who were killed in a car accident before she was born. But on Saturday night both were with her as she claimed boxing gold for Australia.

Nicolson defeated Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh by split decision to complete one of Australia’s fairy tale stories at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, following in the footsteps of her late brother Jamie.

Jamie was also a decorated boxer who competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and also won bronze in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. But at age 22, he and his younger brother Gavin — just 10 years old — were killed in a traffic accident on their way to training in 1994.

Skye’s parents had her after Jamie and Gavin’s deaths in an attempt to move on with life.

But every time she fights, it’s with boxer Jamie in mind. There’s a deep spiritual undercurrent to Nicolson’s bouts, having been told before that she has a similar fighting style to her brother.

And after coming out of an extremely testing featherweight final against Walsh, Nicolson said she won with her brothers alongside her.

“I had a little chat to them right before I went in. They were definitely there with me,” she said.

“I won that medal for both of us [me and Jamie], so stoked. It’s huge, it’s massive, I’m just glad it’s a gold one.

“I’m a little bit speechless at the moment, but I’m over the moon. Best feeling I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Tragedy fuels desire

The tragedy in her family history has fuelled the Gold Coast native’s sense of destiny in her Commonwealth Games campaign, adding pressure on Nicolson to claim the gold her brother never could, barely half an hour up the road from her home.

“It has actually felt a bit that way, like this was always meant to happen,” she said.

“All the lows in my boxing career until now was all for this moment. I can’t even explain how I’m feeling right now.

“I felt a lot of pressure early in the competition, but my family have been messaging me and speaking to me, telling me that they’re so proud of me no matter what happens.

“It took a big load off, and I really just got to relax and have some fun out there, doing what I love, so I was really happy with that.

“I didn’t feel much pressure out there at all. I felt really good out there tonight.

“It’s been gold since day one, since before I even qualified for the Games, it’s been about winning gold at these Games. I’m just so, so happy that I’ve pulled through.”

Walsh in tears over split-decision loss

Northern Ireland’s Walsh was visibly distressed after having the split decision go against her, with Nicolson taking on a very defensive approach throughout the three-round bout.

Neither boxer landed the telling blow, with many forays ending up with the boxers tangled up with each other, with three of five judges handing the fight 29-28 in favour of the Australian.

It was a repeat dose of anguish for Walsh, who was also denied in the Commonwealth gold medal final in Glasgow four years ago.

She was in tears upon exiting the ring, and glumly fidgeted with her silver medal as the Australian anthem played.

“I don’t really know how I lost that fight. I don’t even think it was close,” Walsh told AAP.

“But she’s the face of the Games and sometimes that’s the way it is.”

But when asked whether she deserved to win the split decision, Nicolson was adamant.

“Yeah, 100 per cent,” she said.

“I always knew this was going to be the toughest fight. I’ve said it from day one, before the draw even came out, that I hoped I’d meet her in the final, because we’d have an awesome final.

“But she’s a great boxer and I had to bring my A-game and was just glad I could pull it off tonight.”

There was, however, a touching moment as the medal-winning boxers on the podium bunched together for photos. Walsh cheekily grabbed Nicolson’s gold medal, tugging at it in jest, before the pair embraced.

For Nicolson, the road to the Tokyo Olympics begins, having now established herself as a boxer on her own merits, carrying on the legacy of brother Jamie.

“We’ve got two world championships between now and then, and I plan to get some medals there, and then the big Tokyo 2020,” she said.

“I think these games have really helped shape who I am as an athlete, and really get my name out there and show Australia what I can do.

“I was really glad I got to do it on home soil.”

Topics:

boxing,

sport,

commonwealth-games,

carrara-4211,

qld,

australia



Read The Story Here

SHARE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here