Ramla Ali says the Tokyo Olympics are "reckless"
The 2020 Olympics were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Ramla, 31 - who became the first Somali woman to compete in boxing at the Olympics but was defeated by Claudia Nechita of Romania- admitted she was uneasy about taking part
6 August 2021
She told ELLE UK: "I think it’s reckless that the Olympics is still going ahead. It’s obviously been a lifelong dream of mine, and I will still go and represent my country with pride, but it’s very risky."
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Ramla also revealed she was upset at not being asked to represent Great Britain at the Olympics.
She said: "It was so sad. I did everything that was possibly asked of me and I never got invited to Selection Camp. There is a lot of politics involved in why [I didn’t get invited]. I don’t want to speculate, because it isn’t my place. I was really heartbroken and wanted to stop competing."
The model and activist, who signed a professional deal with Matchroom Boxing last year, admitted that the boxing world is not easy on women.
She said: "You’re watching me compete, why are you not commenting on my boxing? What does me being a model have anything to do with it? I’m a boxer. What does her being a scaffolder have anything to do with it?
She’s a boxer. Give us the respect that we deserve. We’re both in the ring, it’s a dangerous sport, we’re both putting our lives on the line."
And she explained that having her hijab torn off and stamped on in a racist attack when she was younger, has shaped her as a person.
She said: "It’s the event that has most shaped me into who I am today. I was shocked, even though at the time I didn’t know it was a racist attack."
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