Two-time Canadian Olympic boxer Mandy Bujold confirmed Wednesday that she will leave the ring.
The 34-year-old Kitchener, Ont., native said ahead of the Tokyo Olympics that she plans to retire afterwards. Now it’s official.
“As an athlete, I was always so focused on the next big event that many times I didn’t even realize how important some of my accomplishments were,” Bujold, the 11-time national champion, wrote in a post. message on Twitter.
“Now that I’m starting to think beyond the boxing ring, I’m able to appreciate the journey I’ve been on and all the amazing pieces that come with it.”
Bujold, who won the national junior title in 2006, made his Olympic debut a decade later in Rio. She placed fifth, dropping out of her quarter-final bout after spending the previous night in hospital with an illness that caused her to lose five pounds overnight.
While Bujold’s second Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020 only yielded a 17th place finish, the Canadian’s trip just to compete in Japan was a victory in itself.
In 2018 and part of 2019, Bujold – who placed second in the world – did not compete after giving birth to daughter Kate. But when the pandemic hit, the international sports federation changed the Olympic qualification criteria to cover that period, leaving Bujold on the sidelines.
Bujold fought the decision, gaining support from Billie Jean King, Hayley Wickenheiser and Lennox Lewis along the way. Eventually, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of Bujold, implementing a rule ensuring that the International Olympic Committee accounts for women who are pregnant or have recently given birth within qualifying standards.
With her appearance in Tokyo, Bujold also became the first Canadian woman to box at two Olympic Games.
His career also includes gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games, and bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Although she won’t be competing again, Bujold said she still plans to train and stay involved in the sport.
“I’m done with fighting in every sense of the word,” she said. “The fight I had in court took everything from me. It took everything. It kind of sealed me off.”