By Mark Armstrong
Friday, July 20, 2012
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo admits his mother’s recent illness has changed his priorities in life but he insists the Olympic fire is still burning brightly in his belly.
The 23-year-old’s journey to London took another cruel twist just over a month ago when his mother, Teresa was taken ill and admitted to hospital. Ogogo rushed back from his training base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to be by her bedside and the Nirvana club boxer from Lowestoft conceded he considered pulling out of the Games altogether as a result.
Ogogo’s four sisters convinced him not to give up on his dream of competing at the Olympics and Teresa’s condition has fortunately since stabilised allowing the boxer to at least turn some of his attention to mounting a bid for gold later this month.
He admitted to The Journal that the last month has been the most difficult of his life but hopes he can make his family proud in London.
“When it happened I just wanted to pull out – I just didn’t see how I could focus on anything other than my mum,” he said. “I’ve got four sisters and I just wanted to be with them and be strong for them and support them.
“I just thought ‘how can focus on something when it felt so irrelevant to me?’ But my sisters said to me that my mum would feel terrible if she knew I had given up because of her. It’s been so traumatic – I just want to get there now and do as well as I possibly can. Hopefully that will be enough for a medal. If anything it has made me more determined to do well. I’m not just here for no reason – I want to really make it count otherwise I might as well just be at home.”
Ogogo has been playing catch-up in his preparations having taken two weeks out of his training schedule to help support his family through this difficult time.
However, a training camp with the Team GB squad in France last week has got Ogogo back on track.
“I’m putting the work in and I’ve caught up – my coaches are happy with me and they think that I’m coming good at the right time. Before every tournament I do a run up around Lowestoft. I have recorded my times for the last two or three years and I’m running faster than ever.”