As the winner of the inaugural Women’s Olympic 400 metres hurdles competition at Los Angeles 1984, Nawal El Moutawakel took a keen interest in the debut of women’s boxing at London 2012. As the women take part in a second successful Games, the IOC member sees it only getting stronger over the coming editions.
How important was it to open up the Olympics to women boxers four years ago?
AIBA President Dr Wu has made huge changes to the sport of boxing over recent years, and enabling the women to compete and become part of the Olympic family was so important for the Games as a whole. To have Nicola Adams in the final in London in front of her home fans was unforgettable.
What do the women boxers bring to the Olympics?
To see them compete here and see how strong they are, how dominant they can be and how they bring that blend of grace and passion and determination to succeed, it is amazing.
What are the ingredients that have made the Morocan team so strong?
Our boxers were part of that historic moment four years ago, but boxing has a great deal of support in Morocco. It is one of our national sports and every Olympics we always send a strong team. We have a dynamic federation with a president who is dedicated to the athelets’ success. The success of the Achik brothers in 1988 really kicked off something special in Morocco.
How has your Rio 2016 experience been so far?
The atmosphere all around the city is incredible and the carioca people have added a lot to the magic of the occasion. AIBA have worked really hard in cooperation with Rio 2016 to realise this event, and it is a wonderful and proud feeling to be able to present a boxing champion with his medal.