This first-time Olympian got her start at the Regina Boxing Club

·2 min read
Canada's Tammara Thibeault, right, fights Netherlands' Nouchka Fontijn during their women's middleweight 75-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe - image credit)
Canada's Tammara Thibeault, right, fights Netherlands' Nouchka Fontijn during their women's middleweight 75-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe - image credit)

Tammara Thibeault started boxing with her father when she was just nine years old.

The Montreal native was living in Saskatchewan with her family because her dad, Patrick Thibeault, was playing for the Roughriders.

"He was so fast, and for me, he was like a super hero," Thibeault previously told CBC. "Boxing gave me a chance to show him I could be like him too."

Thibeault, 24, who became a first-time Olympian at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, got her start at the Regina Boxing Club.

"My father brought me into the sport, and it was something I wanted to do," Thibeault told CBC's Saskatchewan Weekend host Shauna Powers.

But when women's boxing made its Olympic debut in London in 2012, Thibeault knew she could become one of the greatest boxers in the world.

"I knew that someday I was going to [the Olympics]. I wanted to be there, and I didn't know how or where, but I knew it was something I had to do," Thibeault said.

Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Fifteen years later, Thibeault's dream came true, representing Canada in Tokyo.

She says today her teenage self would be saying "I told you so."

"It just shows that hard work does pay off and, you know, it's not over."

On Friday, Thibeault lost to Netherlands' Noucha Fontijn in the quarter-finals, falling just one win shy of a medal in women's middleweight boxing.

"I am very disappointed with the result, but I enjoyed the process, so it's not a complete loss," Thibeault said.

"It's also a learning experience for me and I'm still very young. I have a lot of time ahead of me and I'm hungry."

Carlos Osorio for CBC Sports
Carlos Osorio for CBC Sports

Thibeault, who took up boxing because her father and brother were attending a class for fun, has now transformed her passion into becoming a world-class athlete.

Aside from becoming an Olympic boxer, she won silver at the 2019 Pan American Games and bronze in 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Regardless of the titles, Thibeault doesn't forget where her passion for the sport was ignited.

"Even though boxing is an individual sport, there's a whole group of people who have been by my side since the very beginning," Thibeault said. "And I couldn't be where I am today without these people."

WATCH | The Olympians: Tammara Thibeault:

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