Heartbreak and history for Spencer

While boxer Mary Spencer may not be coming home to Canada with a medal around her neck, she can hold her head high after sharing her Olympic debut with her sport.

“One day there will be a time when female boxers are going to be told: “There was a day when guys competed in the Olympics and girls didn’t. They’re not going to believe me,” said Spencer, 27.

She acknowledged the significance of the day despite being unsatisfied with her performance Monday after losing her quarterfinal 75kg bout with China’s Jinzi Li 17-14.

Despite going into the competition as the three-time world champion, Spencer arrived in London as a late qualifier with a wild card and stepped into the ring in front of thousands, many chanting “MARY, MARY”.

Always in her corner is legendary boxer Charlie Stewart, who has coached her for years. He said all the female boxers are improving and Spencer is determined to stay at the top of the sport.

“Mary’s not a person that quits,” said Stewart. “That’s how she got to where she is.”

For now, nothing has changed for Spencer, who says she wants to inspire other young female boxers to take up the sport.

“I love this, I love boxing and I still want a gold medal.”