About The Champ:
Gail Grandchamp is The Champ, and wants to make You a Champion too!
The former Amateur and Pro Woman's Boxer has co-written with Hollywood Producer
Scott Morgan, “A Fighter with Heart Pursues an Olympic Dream;” a film based on her true life story. Negotiations for filming are in process.
Portraying Grandchamp, the main character fights hard to change her own path and help others in eliminating gender discrimination in competitive sports, while instilling in self and others health, fitness and self-esteem. On the whole, the film is geared to appeal to an audience interested in a “feel good” story about a once small town Massachusetts juvenile delinquent, who turns her life around, wins legal and sports Boxing battles, ultimately paving the way for other female boxers. This fighter with a heart, Grandchamp played the largest role in the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow women's boxing in the Games.
Going for the gold; from deliquent to inspirational
Headlines may have read: Women’s Boxing to be included in the 2012 Olympic Games. Yet, the “historic decision” to include women’s boxing in the Olympic Games did not just surface on Aug. 4, 2009, when the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee announced their decision to allow women Boxers to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Rather, Grandchamp had laid the foundation years earlier in court, and with firm lobbying of the International Olympic Committee.
This early on troubled, minority, kid from a small city in western Massachusetts about to be sentenced to a correctional facility, was granted by the judge one “last chance” to turn life around.
"I took it, clearing out a new path in life," says Grandchamp. "I returned to my studies in high school; continued to learn the discipline of martial arts, worked up to a black belt in karate; embraced the strong spiritual faith of my parents; and joined a community Boxing program."
Grandchamp graduated from high school in 1976, became employed at then, North Adams State College (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), where she joined the Boxing team and served as boxing coach and trainer.
This is getting very interesting...
Grandchamp quickly learned she was not allowed to compete in intercollegiate matches because of her gender! That's right. She wasn't allowed to box because she was a woman! Grandchamp didn’t let it slide. As a matter fact, she continued Boxing and set her sights high upon the 1984 Olympic Games. That year, Grandchamp began lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include women’s Boxing as a competitive sport. However, after years of rejection from the IOC – and the fact that I passed the age of 36 which is the maximum age for amateur fighters -- my manager convinced me to go Pro. This female Boxer who trained in the same campwith Mike Tyson under Kevin Rooney, and was in the same circles as Sugar Ray Leonard, and now the late Joe Frazier—"Smokin' Joe," Grandchamp knew she would never be able compete at that level. Thus, the welterwight agreed to turn Pro. However, when she applied for a Pro Boxing license in Massachusetts, once again, she was denied because of my gender. Grandchamp filed a Sex Discrimination suit in Boston.
A true champion pursues and wins
Then, on April 16, 1992, following eight-long-years of Grandchamp's time, money and acting on my her own behalf without legal counsel -- this female boxer won the right for a Boxing license when a Superior Court judge ruled it was illegal to deny someone a chance to Box based on gender. Grandchamp became the first woman to receive a Pro Boxing license in Massachusetts. She went on to win the first Pro Women’s Boxing match in the state. While enjoying a Pro career, and performing other odd jobs to pay bills, Grandchamp continued to lobby the International Olympic Committee. Grandchamp pursued this on behalf of all women boxers coming up who would be eligible.
Making the dreams of female boxers come true
In 2012, Grandchamp's lobbying had helped to make dreams come true. While equal aire time during the Olympic Games was clearly not given to the female boxers in comparison to the male boxers, Grandchamp was still proud that she was a major participant in this dramatic change in women’s sports. An amazing win for this woman deprived of her own chance to go for the gold! In August of 2012, two of the three women on the American Boxing team earned medals. Flyweight Marlen Esparza brought home the bronze, and middleweight Claressa Shields won the gold. Neither of them would have made it to the London games if it were not for this little-known welterweight Boxer from North Adams, Mass., whose fight in the ring was matched by determination to end discrimination in women’s boxing.
Today, Grandchamp is the owner of Grandchamps Fitness and Boxing Personal Training Studio in North Adams; a local radio personality; and motivational speaker often sought out regionally by educators to work with students pertaining to anti-bullying, self defense techniques, self-esteem and fitness building. Among her many current and former students is actor Sam Rockwell, who Grandchamp helped fitness train while he was in the Berkshires performing at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. Grandchamp explains to youth, in particular, that she turned her life around through “healthier choices, faith, and love of the sport of boxing.” She is also a supporter of women’s rights as well as gay rights; has her own product line, and is the author of a self-published book with the same title, “A Fighter with Heart Pursues an Olympic Dream.” Grandchamp was recently honored in front of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts House Chamber for my efforts to establish women’s boxing as an Olympic sport.
Grandchamp with Producer Scott Morgan during a meeting in Beverly Hills, California
Grandchamp won the first Pro Women’s Boxing match in the state of Massachusetts!
Fight with your heart and mind.
No more violence
Gail was Keynote speaker on August 27, 2015 at the 5th annual Mayor's Citywide Violence Prevention Task Force Community Leadership Luncheon in Springfield, MA.
Go to: masslive.com