Lauren Price exclusive interview: ‘My gold is great – but I just wanted to give my gran a hug’

“When I started in sport – martial arts, kickboxing, football for a boys’ team – they’d always be there. It could be snowing, hailing, and my nan would be there with her leather gloves on and her flask standing on the sidelines with my grandad. 

“Or if not, they were paying thousands of pounds on me over the years for me to travel around the world kickboxing to compete. I’ve been to Cyprus, Greece, Amsterdam, everywhere. It cost money, it’s not funded.

“My grandad took me training every night. As a child, I’d come home from school, eat, and then I’d be out training from six to 10. It would be kickboxing or I’d be getting changed in the back of the car and going football training. That would literally be every night of the week. I was sport mad.”

Not that Linda or Derek were ever reluctant supporters. “They’ve always told me to believe in my dreams. A lot of people have caught on to that quote my nan said to me: ‘Reach for the moon and if you all short, you land on the stars.’ In this Olympics, I was getting closer and closer to that moon. Now I’m there. 

“As soon as I got the decision [in the final], I was kind of emotional getting out of the ring but then as soon as I got on the podium and off the podium and went straight to an interview it got to me. They mentioned my grandad and I just filled up straight away.

Linda and Derek may have been Price’s rocks at home, but when it came to the crunch in her Olympic final against Li Qian of China, it was all on her. And it was the manner of the 27-year-old’s victory – ice-cold, clinical and professional in all but name – which really impressed those who follow the sport. 

The pressing decision for Price now is whether she stays in the amateur set-up, or joins the professional ranks, following the likes of Nicola Adams – the only British female to win a boxing gold – and Ireland’s Katie Taylor. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn, and others, have already expressed an interest, a reflection not just of Price’s obvious quality, but of the commercial potential in women’s boxing. 

“I’ve had a lot of interest and people speaking to me,” Price says. “For me, the Paris Games is obviously only three years away. I’m on great funding with GB. Three years is nothing. You look at the likes of Nicola and Katie and Claressa Shields. They did two cycles. Now Katie is smashing it up in the pros. 

“For me, my heart at the moment is set on staying with GB but I’m just going to enjoy my time at the minute and see what opportunities come up. I’ll just think about it. I’ve not set anything in stone yet. I love what I do week in, week out. Why not do it all again? 

“I’ve won everything I can as an amateur: Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic. But, for me, there’s more I could kind of do. Maybe win another Olympic gold and go from there.

“The London Olympics opened a lot of people’s eyes to how skilled the women could be. It’s at such a higher level and there’s so many more opportunities for women out there. It’s come on leaps and bounds in the amateurs. The competition’s getting harder and it’s going from strength to strength. There’s even talk that in Paris there will be more weights added, which is great as well.”

Price is basking in her success for now, but a break beckons with partner Karriss Artingstall, who won a featherweight bronze medal in Tokyo. The pair recently bought a house together.

This content was originally published here.

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