Boxing champion Nicola Adams extends gratitude to the people of Leeds
TRAILBLAZING boxing champion Nicola Adams today extended her gratitude to the people of her home city, for their positive reaction following the announcement she is to retire from the sport she loves. Alison Bellamy reports.
Nicola, 37, yesterday exclusively revealed to the Yorkshire Evening Post that she was hanging up her gloves for good, following fears for her eyesight.
She had hinted a few months ago that she may try for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, but in a letter to YEP readers, she stated she been advised that any further impact to her eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.
Nicola called into the YEP newsroom and said: “I’ve achieved everything I wanted to achieve in my sport. I hope my legacy will be to inspire other young people from Leeds to do well and reach for their dreams.”
She told how the highlight of her career had been returning to Leeds after London 2012 when she became the first ever female boxer to win a gold medal: “It was unreal,” she said. “Leeds has always been so supportive of me and my career and I will never forget that. I would like to sincerely thank the city for that.”
She said: “The only way I wanted to announce my retirement was through the Yorkshire Evening Post. Since the very beginning you have been there for me and followed my progress. Once you had announced it, my phone went mad with notifications as the news broke and went around the world.
“I am now going to take it easy, by chilling and resting for a bit.
“Of course I won’t be lying on the sofa eating crisps,” she laughed. “I will still be training hard and keeping fit as it is part of me and who I am.”
She said she will be in and around Leeds as much as she can be, spending time with family and friends.
YEP editor Laura Collins said: “We have championed Nicola since her early days when she was first starting out and over the last couple of decades.
“We remember that her mum Dee used to collect those early stories with pride. Nicola is a pioneer for women in sport and has changed the way a male dominated sport operates.
“Nicola has come a long way from Burmantofts to Olympic gold and on her remarkable journey has campaigned for and is a trailblazer for the sport, as it has become recognised at Olympic level.
"She's a true sporting superstar and that smile is recognised all over the world now, but for us Nicola is also a lass from Leeds and an incredible inspiration for young people in the city, showing them what they can achieve through hard work and determination."
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “Nicola is an inspiration to young people and aspiring athletes with a track record of incredible success.
“She is a true Leeds sporting legend and as a city we are hugely proud of her and have very much enjoyed following and supporting her through her boxing career. I would like to wish Nicola the very best of luck with future ventures.”
Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, added: “It has been fantastic to watch Nicola go from strength to strength and achieve great things in the boxing world over the last few years – some truly incredible achievements.
“Nicola has always been a wonderful ambassador for the city and I am in no doubt her legacy and success will continue to inspire our next generation of world class Leeds athletes.”