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Katie Taylor, Sports Woman Extraordinaire

Katie Taylor is one of those wonderful fresh-faced and humble individuals who, as soon as you meet her, you automatically want to support her and cheer her on in whatever
17 Dec 2016 17:24
Katie Taylor, Sports Woman Extraordinaire
Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor is one of those wonderful fresh-faced and humble individuals who, as soon as you meet her, you automatically want to support her and cheer her on in whatever she does.

I met Ms Taylor in 2013 in the United Kingdom and to say I was impressed with her is an understatement.

She is a very shy and reserved individual, but who is gracious and accommodating to all that meet her.

Born in Ireland on July 2, 1986, Ms Taylor was raised in County Wicklow with her three older siblings and her parents. Her father, Peter, was an amateur boxer and trainer in his spare time and a qualified electrician by day. Her oldest brother, Dr Peter Taylor, is a renowned professor of mathematics.

She enjoyed a happy childhood where all four children attended St Kilian’s School, where she excelled in soccer, boxing and athletics.

Ms Taylor was so good at sports. She was offered a sports scholarship to go abroad to further her talent, but turned it down in order to stay with her family.

She started playing soccer at the age of 11 and impressed at school and then district level. Ms Taylor even played in teams with boys at league level. Her skill level was so good and won the league’s Player of the Year Award.

At the tender age of 14, Ms Taylor represented the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team in the Under-17 level, then at the age of 15, she represented the Under-19 national team.

In 2006 she was chosen to represented the Republic of Ireland national team and played for her country until 2010. What an incredible achievement for this young woman, but believe it or not this was her second sport.

It was boxing where she really shone even more so than her soccer career, which she played during her training for upcoming fights.

Ms Taylor is a hugely popular figure in Ireland and is the darling of the whole nation, bringing home gold from her amateur boxing exploits, which she started in 1997, aged 11 years.

It would certainly take too long to list all her accomplishments in the sport, but to give you some idea of the success she has earned, here is a short list of some of her achievements:

Five gold medals at the European Union Championships;

Six gold medals at the European Championships;

Five gold medals at the World Championships;

2012 flag bearer for Ireland at the Olympic Games; and

2012 Olympic gold medal winner at Lightweight.

An incredible array of gold medals, which has bought her accolades not just in the sporting arena, but has crossed over into main stream popularity.

For soccer in 2004 at age 17, Ms Taylor was honoured as the Under-19 Women’s International Player of the Year.

In 2010, she was International World Female Boxer of the Year, and in 2012 Sportsperson of the Year, and the list goes on.

All these awards have not phased Ms Taylor as she has a strong and steely mental strength that has helped her overcome adversity through injuries and other setbacks, and has led her on the path of success. She says her strength lies in two forms – her deep Christian faith and her family – who she relies on for support.

After reaching the pinnacle in soccer by representing her beloved country Ireland, she then went on reaching the pinnacle in amateur boxing by winning gold at the Olympic Games. Ms Taylor has now turned her attention to professional boxing and is determined to once again reach the pinnacle of her third sport.

I for one have no doubt that if Katie Taylor believes she will achieve.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.

Feedback:  ajay@carvingdream.com


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