With a goal of making Canada's boxing team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France Hunter Lee says his move to train in Montreal last December was vital. "I decided to dedicate all my time and energy to boxing and making the games." Lee said. "Everything was going great. We had nationals in February where I was showcasing my skills but during my quarterfinal fight I was dominating team British Columbia and then my knee dislocated on a right hand leading to the fight stopping."
Lee ended up in hospital where he found out he would need knee surgery. "This was a scary moment as I had worked so hard and committed to boxing and now I was faced with the reality that I might miss the opportunity."
Down but not out Lee says had recontruction surgery on his patella and started rehab in March. His new goal was to be ready to fight June 21st at the Canadian Pan American qualifiers. His doctor told him the timeline would be tight. "We did everything we could, hitting the bag & hand pads while sitting. Doing physio 3 times a week. And ensuring that we are following the guidelines so there was no re-injury during the healing phase." He had his three month check up a week before the competition and was cleared for physical contact. He made it to the semi-finals but lost a split decision.
"From that point I had to take the loss as something to learn on and keep working to get back where we wanted to be."
He returned to Montreal and continued to work focusing on getting better every day. While training he received an offer to participate in the Celtic Cup in Ireland with a team from British Columbia which included other members of Team Canada skipping the Pan Am Games.
The tournament win doesn't count as a qualification but Lee is using it as a confidence boost and momentum heading into the Canadian Olympic Qualification in Montreal in early December. He hopes from there he'll get a chance to represent Canada at the two Olympics qualifying tournaments in 2024.
We wish his good luck!
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