Lauren Price’s Olympic triumph was so good, she hasn’t ruled out a second run in 2024
LAUREN PRICE has done it all. As well as playing football for Wales, as well as having a successful kickboxing career before joining GB taekwondo, she is the first Welsh boxer to win an Olympic gold medal. But she might do it all again. Her Tokyo campaign was brilliant and, as she points out, the Paris Olympics are only in 2024.
“Paris is only in three years’ time,” she said. “I’ve got to say [winning the Olympics] tops everything I’ve ever done in my career. It’s been a dream of mine since I was eight years of age so to tick off that box, to be on top of that podium is a dream come true.
“I’m going to have some time off, relax and go on holiday. It’s only three years till Paris, isn’t it? So I may as well tick all those boxes again and do it again.”
She continued, “I’ve always said I didn’t know how I was going to get here or what sport I was going to do but the dream has always been to get to the Olympic Games. To get gold is just the icing on the cake. I can’t really put into words what it means to me.”
Women’s boxing is progressing significantly. It will be even stronger by Paris 2024. “I think it’s great for women’s boxing, especially from London 2012, it inspired me massively. It just shows the women’s game is improving all the time. Come Paris, if more women’s weights are added in then happy days. I think having an Olympic Games is our chance to show the world our skills and how technical we are, just as technical and as skillful as the boys,” she said. “So let’s hope there are more women’s weights going into Paris.”
She sealed her triumph in Tokyo with a complete performance against China’s Qian Li on Sunday. “It was a dream come true winning,” she said. “Obviously winning the World championships, European Games and Commonwealths I had one more to get and I’m just over the moon that I went out and performed and got the win.
“I knew [in the final] I was up against a very good girl, a previous World champion. But I knew that if I was on my A-game then I would be alright and I know what those nerves are like, especially going into the Olympic final. I thought I dealt with that quite cool and calm and collected. I was really pleased with my performance as well. Really happy.”
“I just started to believe in myself. When I came on to GB, it brought me on leaps and bounds, getting confidence, going away to tournaments. The turning point for me was when I went to the European Games and I beat Nouchka [Fontijn] and I was like I’m up there with the top girls, I can do this and I really started to believe in myself. Without that you can’t really go on and achieve at the top, top level. So you’ve got to believe in yourself 100%. I just grew in confidence. I was confident coming here. But you’re always going to have nerves and to perform on the biggest stage and win gold is pretty good. I’m just happy I’ve done it,” she added. “I’ve always got my feet on the ground and I’ll always stay that way no matter what. Even though I’m quite chilled, I am really buzzing and happy inside. It’s a dream come true.
“Making history and becoming the first ever Welsh Olympic gold medallist is a bit mad. I’m sure the Valleys are screaming out and [it’s time for] open top buses through the Valleys I think.”