Pacific Beach boxer fights for her place in the 2020 Olympic Games
Danyelle Wolf, Pacific Beach’s three-time national championship fighter, trains for the Olympics.
It had been four years since Danyelle Wolf, Pacific Beach’s three-time national championship fighter, had been in a boxing ring. That is, until this past January, when her boxing coach, Basheer Abdullah at Arena MMA gave her some news: Wolf’s weight class had been added to the 2020 Olympics. It was time to get back in the ring.
“For so many years when I was just doing boxing, I had to fight to keep my spot on Team USA, but I had the confidence to do it, because I really felt like, ‘This is mine,’” said Wolf. “But after being out of the game for so many years doing martial arts … I just didn’t feel like it was mine anymore.”
There were plenty of worries surrounding Wolf aiming for the Olympics — the fact that she only had five weeks to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers and that she was newly recovered from surgery after dislocating an arm and tearing her labrum while training overseas in Thailand. Wolf says choosing to get back in the ring was a “mental battle with myself.”
But she took the chance, loving, as she says, “a solid challenge” and ended up winning all three bouts of the U.S. Olympic qualifying event in Las Vegas in March. Despite being almost 10 years older than most of her competitors at 35, and having spent all of the last four years training in martial arts, not boxing, Wolf once again proved the value of a strong and stubborn drive.